Drexel: Most Adults Are Sexting

Study says 8 in 10 surveyed have used their phones to sext in the last year, and those who do it more are generally happier in their relationships.



Sexting isn’t just a teen fad, a new study from Drexel University has found. Eight in 10 adults have sexted in the last year, according to the study — and couples who sext report having higher satisfaction levels in their relationship.

In other words, sexting couples are happy couples. And there are a whole bunch more of them than you might have ever suspected.

“These findings,” the study’s authors wrote, “indicate a robust relationship between sexting and sexual satisfaction.”

The study was done by Emily Stasko, a clinical psychology doctoral student, with Pamela Geller, director of the Women’s Health Psychology Lab at the university. They surveyed 870 adults ages 18 to 82 about whether they’d sent or received explicit message or images. Nearly 88 percent said they had sexted in their lifetimes.

Sexting, the researchers wrote, has a bad rap — it “has received growing attention as a risky activity, associated with numerous other risk-taking behaviors” like unprotected sex. “This approach fails to account for the possible positive effects of open sexual communication with a partner.”

According to the authors: “The majority of participants endorsed having sexted from a cell or smart phone (95.9%) and in the context of a committed relationship (73.9%), but casual relationships were frequently selected as the setting for sexting (43.0%). Only 12.1% of participants reported having sexted in a cheating relationship. Home was the most frequently reported setting for sexting (76.1%), but almost 30% of participants reported work or “out and about” as location from which they sext.”

But, they add, the beneficial effects of sexting are more pronounced for less-committed couples than they are for deeply committed couples: “For individuals who describe their relationship as being ‘very committed’, sexting is unrelated to satisfaction.”

Stasko presented the research Saturday at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention. Gizmodo’s Throb reports: “[Stasko] hopes that her research can eventually be applied to couples therapy, by figuring out if (and when) sexting can be used to improve intimacy. For now, be aware that people can have very different ideas of what they find sexy, so it’s wise to make sure your opposite number actually wants to read those explicit plans for later tonight. ”

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