Young Adult Use of Sexting

Young Adult Use of Sexting

Rachel E. Riggs (Texas Tech University, USA) and Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter (Texas Tech University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3187-7.ch001
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Along with many of the unintended consequences of recent technology, research regarding “sexting” is a little behind the times. For the purposes of this chapter, sexting is defined as the sending or receiving of explicit or sexually suggestive messages, images, or videos via cell phone, email, or social media. While early research approached sexting as dangerous, with implications for bullying, child pornography, and harassment, later research has progressed to paint it as more common and happening among consensual adults. This chapter attempts to explain how sexting is becoming a normalized part of young adult relationships.
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Sexting And Adolescents

Weisskirch and Delevi (2011) ascertained that most adolescents expect sexting to enhance the relationship. Perkins et al. (2014) discovered that a majority of college students receive about 1 to 10 sexts and often they occur in romantic relationships. Further, participants who engaged in sexting at a younger age tended to have more sexual partners and that sexting is not a cause for any concern. Messer et al. (2013) found that young adults use sexting and often engage in reciprocal sexting, which is the behavior of sending and receiving once a sext has been sent. They noted that reciprocal sexting tended to occur in romantic relationships. Interestingly, women were more inclined to send sexts compared to men and men were more likely to get sexts than women. Van Ouytsel, Van Gool, Walrave, Ponnet, and Peeters (2017) also confirmed that females felt more pressure to sext compared to males, especially in order to keep their significant others. Bergdall et al. (2012) argued that young adults will tend to use technology, specifically their cell phones, to navigate their understanding and creation of intimate relationships.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sextortion: The act of extorting sexual or financial favors from another person by threatening to divulge evidence of their sexual activity.

Sext: A sexual text.

Reciprocal Sexting: Sexting that is reciprocal.

Sexting: Sending sexual messages or images via a cell phone.

Young Adults: People between the ages of 18-26 and also known as emerging adults.

Revenge Porn: The action of sharing of sexually explicit images or videos of others without their consent.

Cyber Harassment: The use of electronic means to harass or bully another person.

Gender and Sexuality Minority (GSM): A minority group based on sex and gender that differs from other people in society.

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