You may be wondering what the word sexting means? Get the answer now!
Internet is giving us more and more different ways of communication. Of course, this new way to talk changes our language, adjusting it for the new reality. Numerous new words and phrases appear. If 5 years ago you heard some of them, you would definitely not understand a word. One of such new words is “sexting” – a new word made of “sex” and “texting”.
Sexting is sending personal intimate photographs via different messengers, mostly with the help of your portable devices – smartphones, tablets. Services, often used for sexting, are various – Facebook, Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram and many others.
Initially sexting was about “having sex via sms”, meaning it contained only text. But with the development of technologies we all got a chance to exchange photographs easily and with no charge at all. More than that, next step in sexting, which gains popularity is exchanging short videos.
When did sexting appear?
First mentioning of sexting happened in 2005 in an article, published in British Sunday Telegraph Magazine. Article was telling about a new hobby young people were having. Years past and sexting spread itself on all possible ways of online communication, finding more new ways.
From the very beginning and till today sexting is an object for juridical argumentations and for psychological and social research. All kinds of experts take both sides of barricades, supporting or criticizing this communicational phenomenon.
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Four major statistic researches have been held in the USA among teenagers and youngsters. One of them was carried out by a respected Pew Research Center. This research was studying teenagers aged 12-17 years old. They were asked one question: “Have you ever sent out photographs of yourself partially or completely naked, or have you ever received this kind of photographs from other people, via your cell phone?” 4 percent confirmed sending photos, including photos of themselves and other people. 15 percent confirmed receiving such messages from people they know. These results do not include so called spam messages. Separately was counted the result for 17 years old responders only, and it shows respectively 8 and 30 percent.
And if you ask the same questions to people aged 20-26 years, sexting seems to be much more popular here – showing numbers up to 35 percent.
Sexting often involves underage teenagers, who send out their own private photos. It caused a lot of juridical complications in countries with strict law enforcement against child pornography. In some cases teenagers, who sent out their own naked photographs, were charged for child pornography distribution. Others were charged for storage. Also some schools, where sexting was recorded, were charged for allowing this happen.
There’s also another point of view. A few years ago an opinion was spoken on the international conference of humanitarians and social scientists , that this kind of activity is not a crime and is completely harmless. There is no physical contact between young people while texting, so there is no fear of diseases or unwanted pregnancy.
Men and women
More stats. A group of scientists from Nebraska State University decided to hold a research with the help of a famous online dating service, asking men and women about their sexting experience. They asked more than 5 thousand respondents. And here are some results:
- Young married women more often initiate sexting. Almost 87 percent of women aged 25-29 confirmed sexting, even though they were married. They were sexting not with their husbands.
- Only 67 percent of married men aged 25-29 have online affairs.
- Women send their naked photos almost twice as often as men.
- Women after 30 tend to lose interest in virtual cheating.
- Men after 50 years old tend to have stronger interest in sexting with younger women.
Also researches show that online acquaintance and flirting often continues in real life. And 75 percent of respondents, who stated they actually met their “online crush” in real life, confessed they had sexual experience with those people. “This is actually normal, as people are social creatures and tend to develop any kind of a relationship”, researchers say.
Sociology and psychology of sexting
So, what exactly is the point of sexting for teenagers and young people? Researches make a lot of different suggestions, but here are some major ones. First of all sexting is one of ways to express oneself. And it is a completely common wish for people aged 12-29. Expressing yourself through sending personal intimate photos is a rather strong experience. Teenagers believe that they are grown up enough to allow themselves to be open, free and sexual, and can use grown-up ways to attract opposite sex. Second, it is a kind of a challenge, a way to show parents and grand-parents, that time these days belong to the young ones, who master all technologies and use them for their own purposes. Third, for many sexting is just a way to spend time having some fun, kind of an extreme game? Many couples state that they exchange intimate photos all the time, and it adds some spice to their relationship.
Psychologists think that intimate communication online helps people get rid of different complexes and fears. Virtual sex and eroticism is a psychological curtain for shy, non confident and insecure people. They can add themselves features they don’t actually have but would like to have – creating an image of perfect themselves. But though it does not sound decent, psychologists believe that creating a perfect personality has a really positive effect on person’s psychological state.
As you see, sexting is a rather controversial thing, but no matter if we like it or not, it exists and will continue existing, as long as young people find their own advantages in it. Maybe everyone should try it. Or maybe everyone has tried it already?