For many American college students, exchanging suggestive messages and racy photos of themselves has become just another hallmark of campus dating culture.
While more than three quarters of college students are known to engage in sexting, this week’s research shows that it may not be the best way to find a suitable partner.
You could at least get involved with a famously problematic lewd messenger, like Hunter Biden or disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner.
A survey of 2,160 college students by Texas Tech University found that sexters are more likely to suffer from compulsive sexual behaviors – also known as sex addiction.
That is linked to higher rates of masturbation and pornography use and other warning signs.
Researchers also found that sexters used cannabis more often and showed slightly more depression, anxiety and sleep problems than others.
A survey of 2,160 college students by Texas Tech University found that sexters are more likely to suffer from compulsive sexual behaviors – also known as sex addiction
Disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner (left) and Hunter Biden have shown signs of problematic sexting behavior
Lead researcher Nicholas Borgogna, an assistant professor of psychology, said sexting in itself wasn’t a problem, just that people should be wary of other warning signs.
“Sexting, if it’s consensual, if it works for you and your partner, that’s cool,” Borgogna told DailyMail.com.
“The problems usually start when people send sexts without permission, or receive sexts without permission. That can cause shock for them and annoyance and stress for you, even if you didn’t mean to.’
His study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, found that sexting was closely associated with compulsive sexual behavior.
According to Borgogna, this means that sexters may also have problems with impulse control, which may be related to other problems identified in the study, such as marijuana use.
To a lesser extent, sexters also reported higher rates of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Borgogna said more research was needed to understand these trends, but sleep problems could result from people texting their phones in their bedroom at night.
The findings held up across all groups — men and women, gay and straight, and other identities.
Brenda Wiederhold, of the California-based Virtual Reality Medical Center, said the study showed female respondents were four times more likely than men to receive sexts without their consent.
Nicholas Borgogna (left), an assistant professor of psychology at Texas Tech University, and Brenda Wiederhold, of the California-based Virtual Reality Medical Center, highlight the issues of sexting
Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, 43, and former Australia Test cricket captain Tim Paine are among the celebrities who have fallen victim to a sexting scandal
“Many people reveal that they enjoy consensual sexting and feel it makes them stronger and builds confidence,” Wiederhold said.
“However, non-consensual sexts can result in feelings of transgression and awkwardness.”
Sexting scandals have engulfed several celebrities in recent months, including Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, 43, and former Australia Test cricket captain Tim Paine.
But the most obvious connection between raunchy online messaging, drugs and personality problems involves Hunter Biden, 52, the scandal-plagued son of US President Joe Biden.
DailyMail.com’s latest revelations about the younger Biden showed him threatening one of his cash-strapped young female staffers with having her wages deducted via text message if she didn’t FaceTime him for sex.
In another case, Weiner, a disgraced former congressman, was released from prison in 2019 after serving about 14 months for exchanging sexually explicit texts with a 15-year-old girl.