Sexting pp 39-51 | Cite as

A Nuanced Account: Why Do Individuals Engage in Sexting?

  • Joris Van Ouytsel
  • Michel Walrave
  • Koen Ponnet
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cyberpsychology book series (PASCY)


Based on a review of both quantitative and qualitative studies, this chapter aims to explore individuals’ motives for engaging in sexting. The chapter outlines adolescents’ and adults’ various reasons for engaging in sexting, both inside and outside the context of a romantic relationship. These reasons include flirting with a date and sustaining intimacy within an already established romantic relationship. The chapter also focuses on the pressure that often accompanies sexting. Finally, the chapter discusses the potentially positive effects of exchanging sexually explicit pictures.


Sexting Romantic relationship Attachment Peer pressure Media socialization 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris Van Ouytsel
    • 1
  • Michel Walrave
    • 1
  • Koen Ponnet
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Communication Studies, MIOSUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Communication Sciences, IMEC-MICTGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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