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



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