Sexting and well being among Young Gay Men and MSM in the US
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Sexting and well being among Young Gay Men and MSM in the US

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Researchers at University of Michigan's SexLab looked at young adults experiences with sexting, and found no correlation with depression, anxiety or self-esteem. Findings are discussed with a ...

Researchers at University of Michigan's SexLab looked at young adults experiences with sexting, and found no correlation with depression, anxiety or self-esteem. Findings are discussed with a particular emphasis on sexual health.

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Sexting and well being among Young Gay Men and MSM in the US Sexting and well being among Young Gay Men and MSM in the US Presentation Transcript

  • 1Sexting and well-being amongheterosexual young adults and younggay/bisexual men in the United States.Jose BauermeisterSteven MeanleyEmily PingelMallory EdgarEmily YeagleyKevin JeffersonDeepak AlapatiApril 7,8 & 9, 2013San Francisco, CASixth Annual Conference on Youth + Tech + Health
  • Sexting: Sharing sexually suggestivephotos through cell phonesLenhart, 20092
  • Risky?Safe?Neither?3
  • 4
  • 55Virtual Networks Study
  • Initial Recruitment Procedure• Target 24 seeds stratified by race and region– Recruited through Facebook Ads– Referred friends through WebRDSBauermeister, J.A., Zimmerman, M.A., Johns, M.M., Glowacki, P., Stoddard, S. & Volz, E. (2012). Innovative recruitment using online networks: Lessonslearned from an online study of alcohol and other drug use utilizing a web-based Respondent Driven Sampling (webRDS) strategy. Journal of Studies onAlcohol and Drugs, 73(5), 834-8386
  • Completed Sample• 22 Seeds (18-24 years old)– Race: 5 B, 8 L, 9 W– Region: 7 NE, 6 S, 4 W, 5 MW• N= 3,448 total cases– Weighted by RDS effect: N = 827 youth7
  • (N=3,448)SexMale 51.60%Female 48.40%Race/EthnicityWhite 72.80%Black 5.10%Hispanic/Latino 8.50%American Indian/Alaska Native 1.00%Asian/Asian Pacific Islander/NH 11.80%Other 3.60%2 or more 2.80%Unknown 3.00%RegionNortheast 36.30%Midwest 23.30%South 28.50%West 11.90%8
  • 9
  • 10435(57%)96(13%)15(2%)214(28%)Sexting StatusNever SextedSent OnlyReceived OnlyBoth Sent andReceived435(57%)96(13%)214(28%)
  • Demographic Differences• Males 2x greater odds of receiving only.• Asian/Pacific Islanders sext less than otherracial/ethnic groups.
  • 13Psychological Well-beingF testDepression Symptoms (α = .82) F(2,714) = 1.08 n.s.Anxiety Symptoms (α = .89) F(2,1464) = .14 n.s.Self Esteem (α = .88) F(2,1465) = .99 n.s.
  • 14Sexual BehaviorsN(%)/M(SD)Sexually Active (lifetime) 520 (70.2%)Sexually Active (past 30 days) 349 (52.9%)Proportion who engaged in Unprotected Vaginal Sex (%) .12(.24)Proportion who engaged in Unprotected Anal Sex (%) .30(.14)
  • 15Sexual Behaviorsχ2(df) / F(df)Compared to non-sexters…Sexually Active (lifetime) χ2(2) = 104.78Receivers: 3x*S&R: 14x*Sexually Active (past 30 days) Χ2(2) = 76.28Receivers: 3x*S&R: 5x*Proportion who engaged in UnprotectedVaginal Sex (%)F(2, 303) = 2.48 n.s.Proportion who engaged in Unprotected AnalSex (%)F(2, 334) = 2.46 n.s.* p < .05
  • Conclusions Sexting is a prevalent behavior Sexting is a reciprocal behavior More likely among YA who are sexually-active Males receive more than females. Not associated with sexual risk outcomes. Not associated with psychological correlates.
  • What is the relationshipbetween sexting and well-beingamong YMSM?
  • 1818Virtual Love Study
  • Recruitment Procedure• Facebook & BGC Live Ads (18-24 years old)• Recorded entries: 3,140– Ineligible: 942– Fraudulent: 366– Did not commence survey: 325– 1,638 valid entries19
  • N = 1,507 Mean(SD)/N(%)Age 20.80 (.12)Race/EthnicityWhite 987 (65.5%)Black 131 (8.7%)Latino 256 (17.0%)Asian/Pacific Islander 58 (3.8%)Multiracial 54 (3.6%)Other 21 (1.4%)Sexual IdentityGay 1389 (92.2%)Bisexual 45 (3.2%)Other 68 (4.6%)Educational AttainmentLess than high school degree 54 (3.6%)High school degree 318 (21.1%)Technical/Associate Degree 89 (5.9%)Some College 733 (48.6%)College 220 (14.6%)Some graduate school 93 (6.2%)20
  • 21189(12.6%)158(10.5%)20(1.3%)1138(75.6%)Sexting StatusNever SextedSent OnlyReceived OnlyBoth Sent andReceived189(12.6%)158(10.5%)1138(75.6%)
  • Demographic Characteristics• Age (F2,1482=6.83; p < .001)• Non-sexters were slightly younger than S&R and RO sexters,respectively.• Sexual Identity (χ2(2)=11.46; p < .01)• Gay men were more likely to report sexting than other identities.• Educational attainment (F2,1482=3.21; p < .05)• Non-sexters were slightly less educated than S&R sexters.• Region (χ2(8)=24.53; p < .01)• Northeast men were least likely to engage in sexting behavior.• No differences by race/ethnicity.
  • 23Psychological Well-beingF test Scheffé post-hocDepression Symptoms (α = .85) F(2,1464) = 2.00 n.s.Anxiety Symptoms (α = .92) F(2,1464) = 3.95 S&R > RO*Self Esteem (α = .88) F(2,1465) = 1.65 n.s.* p < .05
  • 24Sexual BehaviorsN(%)Sexually Active (past 2 months) 1062 (70.5%)Engaged in Receptive Anal Intercourse (RAI) 718 (47.8%)Engaged in Unprotected RAI 427 (28.4%)Engaged in Insertive Anal Intercourse (IAI) 602 (39.9%)Engaged in Unprotected IAI 363 (24.1%)
  • 25Sexual Behaviorsχ2(df)Sexually Active (past 2 months)χ2(2) =148.00*S&R most likely to besexually activeEngaged in Receptive Anal Intercourse (RAI) Χ2(2) = .58 n.s.Engaged in Unprotected RAI Χ2(2) = .97 n.s.Engaged in Insertive Anal Intercourse (IAI) Χ2(2) = 7.02*Non-sexters leastlikely to engage in IAIEngaged in Unprotected IAI Χ2(2) = 4.40 n.s.* p < .05
  • 26Conclusions• Sexting is prevalent among young gay and bisexual men.• Psychological Well-being– Anxiety symptoms are slightly higher among those whoSent & Received sexts when compared to those whoReceive only.– No association with depression symptoms or self-esteemscores.• Sexual behaviors– Sexters more likely to be sexually-active, yet their sextingbehavior is not associated with sexual risk practices.
  • Sexting Findings AcrossPopulations27
  • Sexting Prevalence• More prevalent among gayand bisexual young adultmen than heterosexualyoung adults.57.0%13.0%2.0%28.0%12.6%10.5%1.3%75.6%0.0%10.0%20.0%30.0%40.0%50.0%60.0%70.0%80.0%Never Sexted Received Only Sent Only Sent & ReceivedHeterosexual Gay & BisexualSexting & Health• Sexting is linked to sexualactivity, yet not associatedwith sexual risk outcomes.• Limited support for arelationship betweensexting and psychologicalwell-being
  • Implications• Why the concern over “sexting”?– Concerns of unknown risks with newtechnologies?– Shifts in Sexual Cultures acrossGenerations?– Moral hang-ups?• Need to have frank, openconversations about sexualexpression.• Develop strategies to ensure thatthese conversations remain safeand (when desired) private.
  • 30Limitations• Cross-sectional analyses• Findings may not begeneralizable to youngerpopulations.• Sexting ≠ non-consensual sharing ofsexts.
  • Acknowledgments• Support provided by:– “Virtual Network Influences on Young Adults’Alcohol and Drug Use”. (1RC1DA028061).– “HIV/AIDS risk among young men who use theInternet”. (1K01MH087242).31
  • Thank You!32