Sexting now a normal dating ritual for young adults, study says

By | July 25, 2012

If you’re sexting with a romantic partner, it’s perfectly normal, a new study says.

Sexting — texting naked or sexually suggestive photos of yourself – “is rapidly becoming part of the dating process” for young adults, according to a report by University of Michigan researchers.

The rapid spread of smart phones has increased the overall number of photos being sent by text or e-mail. But that technological advance has also increased the number of sexts, researchers said.

Sexting has mostly been linked to horror stories of photos of teenaged sexters being passed around to unintended recipients, and the practice has been associated with risky sexual behavior, depression or violence.

Then there was last year’s high-profile political scandal that forced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner from office after he admitted sexting lewd photos of himself to women via Twitter and Facebook.

But the Michigan study involving 3,447 men and women aged 18 to 24 found that 30 percent had sent a sext and 41 percent had received one.

“Our results also suggest that sexting is most often a reciprocal behavior,” the study said.” Among those participants who had ever sent or received a sext, 66 percent reported both sending and receiving sexts. Given findings that most young men and women report sharing sexts within a dating relationship, it is likely that our findings reflect sexting between romantic partners.”
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