Sexters and Non-Sexters

Investigating Differences Between Sexters and Non-Sexters on Attitudes, Subjective Norms & Risky Sexual Behaviours – Amanda Champion & Cory L. Pedersen

Many young adults use their smartphones to stay connected with friends through text messages, Facebook updates, tweets or instant messages. Computer devices, especially smartphones, have become an extension of our body as most of us are reliant on them to keep us in the loop. This form of digital communication is so popular that it is now being used as a means for sexual expression. Sending provocative texts, photos or videos, what is known as sexting, is a common way to flirt, gain the attention of a potential partner, or keep the attention of a current partner.

The purpose of this study was to understand whether differences exist among individuals who send varying degrees of provocative sexts (non-sexters, less explicit sexters, explicit sexters, and very explicit sexters) on risky sexual behaviours, alcohol use, attitudes toward sexting, thrill seeking and perception of peer sexting.

Results revealed that very explicit sexters (i.e., people who send nude photos or videos) had higher positive attitudes toward sexting and engaged in riskier sex than the other sexters and non-sexters. In general, sexters perceived more social pressure to engage in sexting and a higher need for thrill seeking.

Higher rates of alcohol consumption were found among the very explicit and explicit sexter groups (people who send semi-nude or nude photos or videos) compared to less explicit and non-sexters. Motivations for sexting were similar for all sexters. The main reasons for sexting were relationship maintenance and sexual appeal motivations.

Poster presented at the Association for Psychological Sciences Annual Convention, San Francisco, 2014 and article published in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, doi:10.3138/cjhs.243-A5