The University of Arizona highlighted research underway by one of it’s doctoral students exploring sexting.  Sociology doctoral student Morgan Johnstonbaugh presented her research at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting this month.

“In this research, my goal was to disentangle the pressures young people are experiencing, and to get a better understanding of why they are sending these images and what potential benefits they might be hoping for,” she said. “This gives us a little more perspective.”

Johnstonbaugh surveyed 1000 college students asking about the last time they sent a nude, or semi-nude photo of themselves electronically. They were then asked to select from a list of 23 reasons identifying why they sent the photo. Participants could select as many of the reasons as they wished.

In her analysis of the responses, Johnstonbaugh found that the odds were four times higher for women than men to say that they sent sexually explicit images of themselves in order to prevent the recipient from losing interest or to prevent the recipient from looking at images of others. This may point to a persistent sexual double standard that could be disempowering for women, Johnstonbaugh said.

Johnstonbaugh explored power issues she saw in the responses. Women reported sending the images” in order to prevent the recipient from losing interest or to prevent the recipient from looking at images of others” at a rate 4x that of men. The researcher proposed this is due to the sexual double standard that could be disempowering to women.

However, Johnstonbaugh discovered that the odds also were four times higher for women than men to say that they sent sexually explicit images as a way to feel empowered, and women were twice as likely as men to say they sent such images to boost their confidence.

She pointed out it wasn’t uncommon for women to endorse both empowering and disempowering responses.

“The fact that women are more likely to feel both empowered and disempowered – that they’re selecting both of these options when thinking about the same event – highlights the fact that women have more to gain from a potentially beneficial interaction, but they also have more to lose,” Johnstonbaugh said.

 Little information was given in the press release and her dissertation isn’t complete yet so it may be a bit before we are able to explore her research more thoroughly. This early report is interesting however.

from the University of Arizona website.

From the original article…

Amidst a surge in research and media reports on the potentially negative consequences of “sexting,” a University of Arizona researcher is exploring what motivates young people to send sexually explicit images of themselves via text message in the first place..

Photo from original post on Institute for Family Studies website..