Texting has become a fixture in our lives. As with everything, we quickly turned it into another conduit for our sexual expression and exploration. The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, always fascinated by such things, decided to tackle the matter in a survey relating to teen cell phone usage.
The results of their survey of 800 respondents, ranging between 12 and 17 years of age, which was released yesterday, found that:
- Only 4% of cell-owning teens ages say they have sent sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else via text messaging.
- Only 15% of cell-owning teens have received sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images of someone they know via text messaging on their cell phone.
- Older teens are much more likely to send and receive these images; 8% of 17-year-olds with cell phones have sent a sexually provocative image by text and 30% have received a nude or nearly nude image on their phone.
- The teens who pay their own phone bills are more likely to send “sexts”: 17% of teens who pay for all of the costs associated with their cell phones send sexually suggestive images via text; just 3% of teens who do not pay for, or only pay for a portion of the cost of the cell phone send these images.
- The is no gap between males and females in sexting, only age differences.
- Our focus groups revealed that there are three main scenarios for sexting: 1) exchange of images solely between two romantic partners; 2) exchanges between partners that are shared with others outside the relationship and 3) exchanges between people who are not yet in a relationship, but where at least one person hopes to be.
“Teens explained to us how sexually suggestive images have become a form of relationship currency,” said Amanda Lenhart, Senior Research Specialist and author of the report. “These images are shared as a part of or instead of sexual activity, or as a way of starting or maintaining a relationship with a significant other. And they are also passed along to friends for their entertainment value, as a joke or for fun.”
Read more here.
Information via @Armano.