Sexting isn't some weird creepy taboo anymore. No, for us young people, it has almost become as normal as, well, real sex.
But there still remains a little bit of a mystery to it. Sure, we've all become fairly comfortable with the concept of it, but how many of us are actually doing it? Is there a certain type of person who is more likely to sext than others?
A recent paper in "The Journal of Sex Research" detailed the findings of a project conducted by researchers Robert S. Weisskirch of California State University, Monterey Bay; Michelle Drouin of Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne; and Rakel Delevi of California State University, Los Angeles. They sought to find out what types of college students are more likely to sext than others.
The researchers asked 459 “unmarried, heterosexual undergraduate students” (328 women, 131 men, all aged between 18 and 25) from different universities to fill out an online survey that asked them, in addition to basic information, they asked them how often they sexted, the level of commitment they needed in a relationship before they decided to sext, and how much anxiety they felt about relationships in general.
Turns out your likelihood to sext has a lot to do with what's called your "attachment style."
Two types, in particular, were relevant to this study. "Attachment anxiety" stems from the fear of your partner leaving you and the tendency to give into them as an attempt to prevent that from happening. On the other hand, "attachment avoidance" is the tendency to shy away from developing close relationships with partners and potential partners.
The study found that, "in general, sexting behaviors were predicted by low levels of attachment avoidance and high levels of fear of negative evaluation.” Simply put, there are two types of people who are more likely to sext: People who are in healthy relationships, and people who insecure about dating.
So basically, everyone.
It's kind of like real sex, right? Some people do it because they want to, and some people do it as a means of keeping their partner around. I guess the bottom line is that we're all sexting ... it's just a matter of why.