Science & Tech

Read this before you ever send another sext again

Read this before you ever send another sext again

There's nothing sexy about having your privacy violated.

But that's what many who send sexts can expect, according to new research published in the journal Sexual Health online. The research discovered that nearly one in four singletons share sexts they receive with others, be they images or messages.

The study looked at 5,805 single American adults from 21-75 (2830 women; 2975 men), and found the 22.9 per cent of those who shared sexts showed them to an average of three friends.

Professor Justin Garcia, who led the study, said it showed the real risk of sexting was "nonconsensual sharing of messages".

It raises the question that if someone sends something to you with the presumption that it's private and then you share it with others -- which, when it comes to sexting, nearly one out of every four single Americans are doing, what do we want to consider that type of violation? Is it just bad taste? Is it criminal?

The findings are particularly interesting in light of research presented to the American Psychological Association in 2015 which found sexting can improve relationships. Not so good, we'd imagine, if your partner is sharing your sexts without your permission. As lead author Emily Stasko qualified to NPR, "not all sexting is equal... Unwanted sexting is bad for relationships, but when it’s wanted, it’s good."

More: Sexting among singles in the USA: prevalence of sending, receiving, and sharing sexual messages and images

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