Despite what you might think, this study was not, as far as I could tell, funded by Anthony Weiner, Brett Favre, nor Jesse James. Purportedly, it's the University of Michigan who looked into the sexting behavior of over 3,400 men and women between 18 and 24 and discovered that sending titillating texts is, believe it or not, normal. It's just something that's become part of the dating lexicon in the '10s, and the researchers contend that sexting isn't a sign of sexual deviance or some warning of psychological problems, nor is it linked to risky sexual encounters. Sexters were not more likely than non-sexters to sleep with more people or have unprotected sex.
Sexts, as it were, are, like, OMG, NBD. (That's "oh my god, no big deal" in text language.) So all this time we've been overreacting for nothing. Quick! Take a titty pic!
I guess it's when sexting is used for cheating purposes (ahem Weiner, Favre, James) -- that's when it gets dicey. I would think that the majority of sexting's bad rap comes from cases where people are seeking attention and/or a good romp in the hay from someone other than their partner or spouse.
I guess when I think of sexting, cheating and criminal behavior come to mind first, but maybe that's because I read too much of the Internet and enjoy a political scandal as much as the next guy. Then there are those awful stories of teen girls sexting with the wrong guy and then yada yada yada her amateur nudie pics are all over Facebook and she's shipped off to boarding school in the Andes.
But who knows, it sounds like the research is saying there's a healthy, fun side of sexting. If all this risque messaging is normal if you're relatively young and unattached, or if you're messaging the person you're, gasp, in a relationship with, then hell, maybe we should all clog in the airwaves with some genital pics. Sounds really hot when I put it that way, doesn't it?
What are your thoughts on sexting?
Photo via KingJeorge/Flickr