For young adults today who were weaned on iPods and the Internet, the practice of ‘sexting,’ or sending sexually explicit photos or messages through phones, may be just another normal, healthy component of modern dating.
University of Michigan researchers looked at the sexting behavior of 3,447 men and women age 18-24 and found that while sexting is very common, sexting isn’t associated with sexually risky behaviours or with psychological problems.
The findings contradict the public perception of sexting, which is often portrayed in the media and elsewhere as unsavoury, deviant or even criminal behaviour, said Jose Bauermeister, an assistant professor at the U-M School of Public Health and co-principal investigator of the study.
However, most of those negative stories involve sexting among pre-teens and teenagers, and the U-M study group was considerably older, said study co-author Debbie Gordon-Messer.
‘For younger age groups,