Journal article Open Access

Adults who Sext: Exploring Differences in Self-Esteem, Moral Foundations, and Personality

M. Crimmins, Danielle; Kathryn C. Seigfried-Spellar

Jaishankar, K

This study assessed the prevalence of sexting behaviors among adults, and the relationship between sexting and moral foundations, self-esteem, and individual differences. Additionally, this study examined differences in the methods used to send sext messages (mobile applications vs. text messages) and image content (e.g., face, masturbating). Respondents solicited through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk completed the anonymous survey measuring “attitudes toward sexting.” The final sample included 508 adult participants; 68% of adults reported sexting behaviors, and both mobile applications and traditional text messages were used to send sext messages. In general, individuals who scored higher on extraversion and lower on conscientiousness, agreeableness, harm, and fairness were more likely to engage in sexting behaviors. Self-esteem was not associated with any sexting behaviors. Results also found significant differences between individuals who send semi-nude and nude sext messages. Limitations and future research suggestions are discussed.

This article forms a part of Special Issue on Sexting, International Journal of Cyber Criminology, Vol 11 issue 2, July - December 2017. Guest Editors: Fawn Ngo, K. Jaishankar, Jose R. Agustina.
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