88 Percent of Adults Are Sexting — and Reaping the Benefits

New research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention shows that sexting is everywhere — and that it has significant benefits for couples.

More adults are sexting — 88 percent of them say they have sexted at some point.

And 82 percent say they’ve sexted in the past year, according to new research presented over the weekend at the American Psychological Association’s 123rd annual convention.

For the purpose of the study, sexting was defined as “the sending or receiving of sexually suggestive or explicit content via text message, primarily using a mobile device,” an APA press release states.

The research was conducted by Pamela Geller, associate professor of psychology, OB/GYN and public health at Drexel University in Philadelphia; and Emily Stasko, a clinical psychology doctoral student at Drexel.

The goal was to assess sexting behaviors, sexting motives, and relationship and sexual satisfaction.

It was based on a survey of 870 participants from the U.S. ages 18 to 82. Just over half were women and 26 percent were single.

Nearly 75 percent of participants sexted as part of a committed relationship, and 43 percent sexted as part of a casual relationship.

The researchers also found what Stasko calls “a robust relationship between sexting and sexual and relationship satisfaction.”

Such findings include that greater levels of sexting were associated with relationship satisfaction for all participants except those who identified their relationship as “very committed.”

Stasko notes that the perception that sexting is risky and associated with other sexual risk-taking behaviors and negative health outcomes fails to account for possible benefits.

“Given the possible implications, both positive and negative, for sexual health, it is important to continue investigating the role sexting plays in current romantic and sexual relationships.”

Are you surprised by how many people admit to sexting? Share your thoughts on this research by leaving a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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