If you’ve ever sent or received a sext then you know that the worst thing that could possibly happen is for it to fall into the wrong hands (or eyes). So with almost any sext there’s already an assumed level of trust between the sender and receiver, right?
Welp, a recent study published in the Sexual Health journal has found some kinda terrifying stats that challenge the idea that people actually obey the unspoken ‘for your eyes only’ rule.
Conducted by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, the study of 5805 single adults found that nearly a quarter (23%) of participants admitted to sharing their sexts with MORE THAN THREE PEOPLE, on average. Yep, you read that right.
And that’s only the douchey peeps who admitted to sharing sexts in the first place. Uggghhh.
Now, before you go and have a massive freak out, the same study found that three quarters of participants (73% - so probs everyone else), reported 'discomfort' with sharing pics with people other than the intended recipient. What remains unknown is if there's any crossover between the people who know sharing sexts was wrong, but admitted to doing it anyway.
"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... what do we want to consider that type of violation?"says Justin Garcia, who led the study.
"Is it just bad taste? Is it criminal?" he asks. FYI, if you're ever asking yourself this question, you already know the answer: don't do it.
"The real risk is not the sending of sexual messages and images per se, but rather the nonconsensual distribution of those materials to other parties," Garcia concludes.
"As sexting becomes more common and normative, we're seeing a contemporary struggle as men and women attempt to reconcile digital eroticism with real-world consequences."
So if you're still keen to send sexts, power to you girl, but just be careful who you're sending your snaps to. And, given the nasty legal, social and not to mention psychological fall out that can come from sharing nekkid pics without permission, just hold off on the 'sharing is caring' thing, kay?