About 40 percent of people in the United States have sexted before. With the technology available today, it might not be hard to believe that 70 percent of 18-24 year olds have received a sexually explicit message, photo, or video through texting or social media. What is surprising, however, is what the sexting habits of young adults reveal about their relationships.
Researchers from California State University conducted a study to determine why people sext -- and what it says about their relationship. According to Cosmopolitan, the researchers gave "459 unmarried, heterosexual, undergraduate students an online survey that measured their 'sexting behaviors, relationship commitment needed to engage in sexting, their fear of being single, their dating anxiety and their attachment style (secure or insecure).'"
The team found that individuals who were in a romantic relationship were more likely to send sexual messages than those who were single. This may seem to be common sense, but what the researchers found went against their hypothesis.
"We expected to find that anxiety would prompt people to sext but were surprised that comfort with intimacy related to sexting behaviors. We also expected to find that sexting would occur in relationships without a lot of commitment, meaning that we thought that sexting would be part of the wooing," said Rob Weisskirch, who authored the study and is a professor of human development at California State University at Monterey Bay.
Essentially, the researchers thought that individuals who sexted would be insecure and uncommitted to their relationships, but found just the opposite. "People who were comfortable in their relationships felt comfortable being intimate via messages (even if they did still worry about their partner's reaction)," according to Cosmopolitan.
It is important to remember that any sexual decision is a personal one -- just because it may seem like everyone is doing it doesn't mean it's right for you. Go along at your own pace and find what works for you.
Lead Image Credit: Alejandra Quiroz via Unsplash