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We gave 459 unmarried, heterosexual, undergraduate students an online questionnaire to learn more about how relational anxiety influences sexting behavior.It covered questions measuring their sexting behaviors, relationship commitment needed to engage in sexting, their fear of being single, their dating anxiety and their attachment style (secure or insecure).From that experience, you learned that relationships are safe and reciprocal, and your attachment anxiety is low.But if your caregiver was not so attuned to your needs, was intrusive or inattentive, you might develop what is called an insecure attachment.My colleagues, Michelle Drouin and Rakel Delevi, and I hypothesized that people who were afraid of being single or had dating anxiety and who were, at the same time, anxious or insecure in their attachment style would be more likely to sext.We also thought these singles would be more likely to sext their romantic partners, even when their relationship wasn’t very committed.This is not an indication of a security issue such as a virus or attack.
Our trained peer advocates are available 24/7/365 to offer education, support and advocacy to teens and young adults, as well as their concerned friends and family members, who have questions or concerns about their dating relationships.
There were no gender differences for engaging in sexting, except that males were more likely than females to have sent a text propositioning sexual activity.
We also found that, generally, dating anxiety from fear of negative evaluation from the romantic partner (basically, worrying about what your partner thinks of you) and having a more secure attachment style (i.e., comfort with intimacy and close relationships) predicted if someone had sent a sexually suggestive photo or video, a picture in underwear or lingerie, a nude photo or a sexually suggestive text.
We also provide information about dating abuse to service providers, counselors, teachers and members of law enforcement.
Peer advocates can connect you to resources in your area, provide you with helpful websites, help you create a plan to stay safe or just listen to your concerns.