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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Recent empirical data suggests that the majority of adolescents and emerging adults utilize digital technology to engage with texting and social media on a daily basis, with many using these mediums to engage in sexting sending sexual texts, pictures, or videos via digital mediums. While research in the last decade has disproportionately focused on the potential risk factors and negative consequences associated with sexting, the data are limited by failing to differentiate consensual from non-consensual sexting and for potential influences of intimate partner aggression IPA and Connecticut texting sexting buddy coercion in these contexts.
suggested that those reporting a history of any type of IPA victimization endorsed more negative reinforcing consequences after sending a sext, and those with a history of physical or sexual IPA victimization endorsed more punishing consequences after sending a sext than those without such history. The implications of these data for research, policy, prevention, and intervention are explored. Given the ubiquitous nature of digital use among teens, adolescents, and emerging adults, it is perhaps unsurprising that technology is increasingly manifesting in their romantic and sexual relationships, including sending sexual texts, pictures or videos via digital mediums sexting [ 123 ].
These data align well with meta-analytic data on sexting behaviors among younger teens and adolescents, which suggest that both age and publication date were moderating factors associated with sexting, indicating that as individuals get older and as technology use has become more universal, sexting has increased [ 16 ]. The increase in availability of mobile devices, in tandem with the development of apps that reportedly enable private and convenient sharing of digital content e.
Because sexting was initially largely conceptualized as a potentially risky behavior among emerging adults, much of the existing research has focused on the association between sexting and a range of risk factors, including unprotected sex, STI diagnosis, substance use, sexual coercion, pornography use, risky internet use, and psychological distress [ 1317181920212223242526 ].
An additional area of concern related to sexting is the potential for coercion and aggression in interpersonal relationships that this behavior may afford. This is particularly important to consider given the high rates of intimate partner aggression IPA among emerging adults. While several studies have examined aggression that occurs online among emerging adults cyber dating abuse [ 31 ], with some finding associations between the experience of cyberaggression and sexting [ 3233 ], there has been only limited research examining the interactional relationship between in-person IPA and sexting behaviors.
Morelli and colleagues [ 34 ] found that among moderate and high sexters, rates of IPA perpetration and victimization rates were higher, both in-person and online. There are also some Connecticut texting sexting buddy to suggest that sexting may be an additional mechanism through which sexual violence occurs.
For example, in their sample of teens, Kernsmith, Victor, and Smith-Darden [ 35 ] examined the relationship between in-person sexual coercion and coercive sexting victimization and perpetration. Their data suggested that, compared to non-victims, victims of coercive sexting were at ificantly higher risk of at least one form of in-person sexual coercion from their dating partner [ 35 ].
Similarly, Titchen and colleagues [ 36 ] demonstrated that teen sexting is associated with in-person sexual abuse in dating relationships, and other research involving incarcerated men has shown a relationship between sexting and sexual violence perpetration [ 37 ].
Data examining the interplay of IPA and sexting with emerging adults specifically suggested that IPA was ificantly positively associated with sexting coercion [ 38 ]. Recently, Ross, Drouin, and Coupe [ 17 ] examined the relationship between different types of IPA and sexting coercion, particularly the cumulative effects of these experiences on mental health symptoms. The findings of this study suggested that individuals who experience IPA, sexual coercion, and sexting coercion in combination tend to experience the most severe psychological and sexual problems, compared to those who experience IPA alone.
This suggests a pattern in which sexting coercion is presenting a cumulative risk, in combination with IPA, that contributes to increased psychological distress above and beyond the severity of the individual aggression experienced [ 17 ]. Although these data provide preliminary support suggesting a relationship between in-person IPA and sexting behavior, additional research is necessary to examine how in-person IPA impacts the experience and perceived consequences of sexting for emerging adults.
Research examining risk behaviors has predominated the literature in sexting; considerably less research has focused on the potential consequential benefits of sexting [ 39 ]. Some data suggest that individuals perceive sexting as a way to continue to connect in a relationship, particularly during college when partners may be separated [ 104041 ]. Additionally, researchers have shown that sexting is associated with increased sexual satisfaction [ 42 ] and relationship satisfaction [ 40434445 ], though this may vary as a function of attachment style and gender.
Recent latent profile analyses involving Americans and Canadians in cohabiting relationships [ 42 ], however, showed that nonsexters did not differ from those who sexted often frequent and hypersexters on relationship satisfaction, and sexters also fared worse in terms of other relationship markers, such as conflict, ambivalence, and attachment security.
Other researchers have examined expectations and motivations for sexting and found that, particularly for men, emerging adults noted positive expectancies more often than negative expectancies and often cited motivations including flirtation, fun, sexual explorationand sexual initiation [ 1042 ]. Among Connecticut texting sexting buddy, Doring and Mohseni [ 46 ] found that, among those who had sexted, the perceived positive outcomes ificantly outweighed perceived negative outcomes, and half of participants perceived no negative effects of sexting.
Considerably less research has been conducted on the perceived consequences of sexting within the context of a particular relationship, which may be more illuminative in exploring the contexts in which positive outcomes are most likely to occur. Drouin, Coupe, and Temple [ 14 ] examined how relationship context casual versus committed may affect the perceived consequences of sexting. In general, those in non-committed relationships and women reported fewer positive and more negative consequences than did those in committed relationships and men.
However, this body of research is limited by the scope and depth of the positive consequences Connecticut texting sexting buddy were evaluated. This is a consistent limitation across a range of studies examining perceived positive outcomes of sexting [ 41 ]. As sexting becomes increasingly normative among this population, it is important to more systematically examine the range and context of potential desirable sequelae of sexting, as well as the various contextual and historical events that may contribute to the manifestation of sexting behavior, including IPA.
Several theoretical explanations have been offered to help understand human behavior generally, and coercive and aggressive behavior specifically. Bell and Naugle [ 47 ] developed an integrated, contextual model of IPA that drew heavily on existing research and behavioral theory, which postulates that the consequences of behavior are important predictors of future behavior.
More specifically, behavior that in reinforcing consequences is expected to be more likely to occur again in the future, whereas behavior that le to punishing consequences is anticipated to occur less frequently in the future. research examining IPA consequences has demonstrated that perpetration is often influenced by reinforcing consequences, which may explain, in part, the perpetuation and stability of aggressive behavior over time and across contexts [ 4849 ].
There are also data to suggest that perpetrators of aggression, particularly dating aggression, are unlikely to experience punishment as a result of their behavior [ 4950 ]. Of particular interest here is the role of negative reinforcement in maladaptive relationship behaviors, such that behaviors increase in the future, but do so by reducing negative affect, getting their partner to cease a behavior, stopping an argument, or assuaging guilt.
These processes may simultaneously increase behavior, but represent potentially problematic relationship dynamics that should be addressed. To date, this theoretical model has not been applied to the understanding of coercive sexting, but the extant literature provides sufficient justification for its application beyond IPA.
While the initial research on sexting has been foundational to our understanding of this technology-mediated phenomenon, further research is necessary to understand how individual variables affect sexting behaviors.
Critically, much of the initial research on sexting fails to differentiate between consensual and nonconsensual sexting behavior [ Connecticut texting sexting buddy10111214203851 ], or explore the nuances of consensual sexting. In a recent qualitative study, Roberts and Ravn [ 7 ] found that participants articulated the subtle, tricky, and sometimes unclear process of ensuring consent in sexting, and the ambiguity inherent in the practice. Further, online sexting guidelines in popular media sources often advocate for consent in sexting [ 52 ], and yet there has been little empirical research examining consensual sexting in particular.
While the research on sexting is relatively nascent, it is critical to differentiate sexting behaviors that are coerced, unwanted, or nonconsensual from those that occur in consensual interactions. It is possible that the sending of this explicit material is not consensual, but could be influenced by partner pressure, coercion, or threats. Limited research has examined the role of unwanted but consensual sexting i. Other research has found that receiving unwanted sexts or sending consensual but unwanted sexts independently predicted a range of psychological symptoms, including depression, anxiety, stress, and lower self-esteem [ 54 ].
This further points to the need to continue to examine the psychological and coercive elements of sexting that is specifically identified as consensual.
In order to continue to advance the field, research needs to be conducted to determine the possible behavioral, interpersonal, and relationship consequences of sexting behavior when it exists in the context of a consensual interaction.
On the other end of the spectrum, sexting that is unwanted or coerced could represent an extension of IPA and sexual violence. If we are to better understand the nature of sexting, including the potential benefits and risks of sexting, it is critical to differentiate sexting that occurs in a normative, consensual context from that which does not, by examining it on its own. Therefore, the current project was deed to comprehensively examine a range of potential positive and negative consequences of sexting in the context of a consensual sexting episode. Because the data examining the consequences of sexting is limited, particularly related to positive outcomes, we sought Connecticut texting sexting buddy systematically and comprehensively examine those consequences within existing behavior analytic models of human behavior.
Emerging Connecticut texting sexting buddy, both men and women, would report that, despite labeling their sexting experience as consensual, they experienced coercion and pressure to sext. ificant positive associations would occur between sexting coercion and all forms of IPA.
Consistent with the demographics of the university, most students identified as Caucasian Academically, most students were freshmen The majority of participants All procedures and methods were reviewed and approved by the research ethics board at the university associated with the first author. Participants were recruited between February and March through an introductory psychology research portal that provided a brief description of the study and the eligibility requirements, and participants received class credit for ing up and participating in the study.
Interested and eligible participants were provided with a link to an online survey website e. The survey was deed to be completely anonymous, IP address collection was disabled, and no personally identifying information was collected. Following completion of the online informed consent documents, participants were provided with a series of measures to complete. At the conclusion of the study, participants were provided with the name, address, and phone of the first author in the event that they experienced distress resulting from the research. They were also provided with a list of local and campus referrals for domestic violence and counseling services.
Participants indicated their age, academic standing, dating, sexual, and sexting history, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. Sexting Experiences. Sexting Context. They also indicated the type of relationship in which this sexting occurred: friends with benefits, one-night stand, fuck buddy, booty call, cheating partner, committed partner, someone they knew only online, or a casual dating partner. Sexting Consequences. To measure the consequences of consensual sexting, an in-depth questionnaire was deed to gather comprehensive information on the context and dynamics surrounding the specific episode of consensual sexting.
The questionnaire was conceptualized from a functional analytic perspective and was modified from existing interviews assessing contextual variables in intimate partner violence [ 4958 ].
To provide an inclusive and widespread analysis of possible consequences framed within behavioral theory, a range of various possible outcomes and their potential operant functions were included. This included questions related to a range of potential positive reinforcers resulting from the sext, both at the individual and relationship level e. This subscale included 24 items. Nine items were included that captured possible individual and relational negative reinforcing consequences, reflecting avoidance or escape of aversive outcomes that might increase the likelihood of sexting in the future e.
A total reinforcement subscale was created by summing scores from the positive and negative reinforcement subscales. Finally, we included a range of potential punishing consequences, which presumably would decrease future sexting activity. Though these 28 items were conceptualized to capture both negative and positive punishers, for ease of interpretation they were collapsed into one punishment subscale. This item measure assesses physical, sexual, and psychological aggression that has occurred in the past year.
Connecticut texting sexting buddy indicated how frequently they had perpetrated and been victimized by each behavior on a 7-point scale ranging from 0 this never happened to 6 more than 20 times. Variety scores were calculated [ 60 ] to provide count data on perpetration and victimization of each form of IPA in the past year.
Dichotomous variables were also created to reflect the occurrence or non-occurrence of perpetration and victimization for each type of IPA in the past year. In the present study, only the victimization subscales were utilized. Sexting Coercion.
The measure differentiates between different types of coercive acts in sexting and has been used in other research to assess sexting coercion [ 17 ]. Participants were presented with a series of potentially coercive acts e. Within the entire sample, the average of sexts sent to another person was The average age of sending a first sext was Within their most recent consensual sexting relationship in which they sent a sext, the average of sexts sent wasConnecticut texting sexting buddy
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