Sexting is sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, photographs, or images, primarily between mobile phones, of oneself to others.
It may also include the use of a computer or any digital device.
In 2013, it was found that sexting is often used to enhance the relationship and sexual satisfaction in a romantic partnership.
Sexting thus can be considered a "behaviour that ties into sexuality and the subsequent level of relationship satisfaction experienced by both partners".
Based on the interviews conducted by Albury and Crawford, they discovered that sexting is commonly used in positive aspects.
According to Albury and Crawford, sexting was not only an activity occurring in the context of flirtation or sexual relationships, but also between friends, as a joke or during a moment of bonding.” Reportedly, hedonism played a role in motivating sexting, and the length of relationship was negatively correlated with sexting behaviors.
The study had a small sample size, so more research needs to be done surrounding sexting and motivation, but it is clear that sexting is a phenomenon that is not constrained to simply unattached individuals looking for fun; it is used by those in intimate relationships to increase feelings of intimacy and closeness one's partner.
For teens, sexting can also act as a prelude (or in lieu of) sexual activity, as an experimental phase for those who are yet to be sexually active, and for those who are hoping to start a relationship with someone.
Additionally, 39% of teens and 59% of young adults had sent sexually explicit text messages.The difference between using these applications and traditional texting is that content is transmitted over the Internet or a data plan, allowing anyone with Internet access to participate.Snapchat appeals to teens because it allows users to send photos for a maximum of ten seconds before they self-destruct.A 2009 study found that 4 percent of teenagers aged 14–17 claim to have sent sexually explicit photos of themselves.Fifteen percent of these teens also claimed to have received sexually explicit photos.In a 2013 study conducted by Drouin et al., it was found that sexting is also associated with attachment styles, as those with attachment avoidance are more likely to engage in sexting behaviours (just as these individuals are also more likely to engage in casual sex).Thus, instead of increasing intimacy in these types of relationships, sexting may act as a buffer for physical intimacy.As a result of sexting being a relatively recent practice, ethics are still being established by both those who engage in it and those who create legislation based on this concept.Whether sexting is seen as a positive or negative experience typically rests on the basis of whether or not consent was given to share the images.found that among the quarter of their sample that were ages 10–12, [less than] 0.6% 'appeared in, created, or received a nude or nearly nude image' while among those age 15–17, 15% of participants reported having done so.Despite it being widely reported in the media, the overall prevalence figure of 2.5% masks a dramatic age effect that indicates that more than 1 in 8 mid-teen minors admit to having sexted." Strassberg, Mc Kinnon, et al.