A new study found some surprising benefits to sexting.

It's not just curious teenagers with Snapchat who are sexting.

When you hear the word "sexting," what comes to mind?

If you're like many of us, you might think ... oh, let's see — naive high schoolers? Mortified parents? Possibly the word " REGRET" (note the bold, all-caps)? ... Am I close?


This face probably comes to mind. Photo via Thinkstock.

"Most of the conversations about sexting are about teens and young adults, and about the dangers," Emily Stasko, a Ph.D. student and researcher at Drexel University, told Upworthy. "But if sexting were only dangerous, it wouldn't be as popular as it is. People do it. Why is it that people do it?"

That question is why she started to do some digging.

Stasko found that the vast majority of adults are sexting — not just young people with raging hormones.

She co-authored the study " Reframing Sexting as a Positive Relationship Behavior," which surveyed 870 heterosexual American adults on their sexting habits ("sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, images, or photos through electronic means").

Her research, which was presented at the American Psychological Association's annual convention in Toronto on Aug. 8, 2015, found 87.8% of participants admitted to sexting at some point in their lifetime, and 82.2% had done it within the last year.

Photo via Thinkstock.

While Stasko admitted the study may not perfectly reflect America's adult population and its sexting habits — the sampling was disproportionately white (roughly 80%) and, seeing as it was conducted online, likely attracted more tech-savvy participants, she noted — it found a "surprising" number of adults used electronics for sexual pleasure.

The study also found that sexting has some surprising perks.

Stasko's research discovered positive links between sexting habits and both sexual and relationship satisfaction.

The results found that "greater levels of sexting are associated with greater sexual satisfaction" — especially for adults who are casually dating or in a relationship (as opposed to single folks).

And speaking of relationships, the more casual the relationship, the better the sexting: "Sexting [was] positively associated with satisfaction" when it came to adults who were in relationships that were not "very committed." As for adults who were in "very committed" relationships, sexting and satisfaction didn't really go hand-in-hand.

Photo via Thinkstock.

But hold your horses (and put down your phones). Stasko notes that her study doesn't endorse just any sexting.

Stasko made sure to mention "not all sexting is equal," and the research certainly doesn't support the idea that sexting is always a good thing. If anything, her preliminary research — which is in the process of being peer-reviewed and published — argues that we need to further examine all the positives and negatives of sexting before we buy in to the apocalyptic headlines that so often accompany stories on the subject.

It's also important to know that should anyone betray your trust by sharing your private photos against your wishes, you can do something about it.

While it's good to remember that there are definite dangers in ... um ... putting yourself out there...

...it might be nice to know you're not the only one (and definitely not the only one having fun).

More
Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

If you're a woman and you want to be a CEO, you should probably think about changing your name to "Jeffrey" or "Michael." Or possibly even "Michael Jeffreys" or "Jeffrey Michaels."

According to Fortune, last year, more men named Jeffrey and Michael became CEOs of America's top companies than women. A whopping total of one woman became a CEO, while two men named Jeffrey took the title, and two men named Michael moved into the C-suite as well.

The "New CEO Report" for 2018, which looks at new CEOS for the 250 largest S&P 500 companies, found that 23 people were appointed to the position of CEO. Only one of those 23 people was a woman. Michelle Gass, the new CEO of Kohl's, was the lone female on the list.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Netflix

How much of what we do is influenced by what we see on TV? When it comes to risky behavior, Netflix isn't taking any chances.

After receiving a lot of heat, the streaming platform is finally removing a controversial scenedepicting teen suicide in season one of "13 Reasons Why. The decision comes two years after the show's release after statistics reveal an uptick in teen suicide.

"As we prepare to launch season three later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from season one," Netflix said in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

At Trump's 'Social Media Summit' on Thursday, he bizarrely claimed Arnold Schwarzenegger had 'died' and he had witnessed said death. Wait, what?!


He didn't mean it literally - thank God. You can't be too sure! After all, he seemed to think that Frederick Douglass was still alive in February. More recently, he described a world in which the 1770s included airports. His laissez-faire approach to chronology is confusing, to say the least.

Keep Reading Show less
Democracy

Words matter. And they especially matter when we are talking about the safety and well-being of children.

While the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual assault allegations that have long been swept under the rug, it has also brought to the forefront the language we use when discussing such cases. As a writer, I appreciate the importance of using varied wording, but it's vital we try to remain as accurate as possible in how we describe things.

There can be gray area in some topics, but some phrases being published by the media regarding sexual predation are not gray and need to be nixed completely—not only because they dilute the severity of the crime, but because they are simply inaccurate by definition.

One such phrase is "non-consensual sex with a minor." First of all, non-consensual sex is "rape" no matter who is involved. Second of all, most minors legally cannot consent to sex (the age of consent in the U.S. ranges by state from 16 to 18), so sex with a minor is almost always non-consensual by definition. Call it what it is—child rape or statutory rape, depending on circumstances—not "non-consensual sex."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture