Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Dr. Leo Herrman

Abstract

Previous research has viewed the sending and receiving of sexually natured text and picture messages as risky and dangerous behavior. It is through this lens that previous research has examined the reason individuals choose to engage in sexting, and the possible effects of the behavior. The current study is the first to examine the possible adaptive reasons that individuals may choose to engage in sexting. A total of 218 participants from Fort Hays State University completed measures of their sexting behaviors, attitudes towards sexual activity, and risk tolerance. It was hypothesized that an individual participants’ endorsement of a sex consistent mating strategy would be positively related to engagement in sexting behavior. Additionally it was thought that men with greater risk tolerance in the domain of mate attraction would engage in sexting more, and that women with greater risk tolerance in the domain of mate retention would engage in sexting more. It was also thought that participant expectancies regarding the outcome of sexting would interact with risk tolerance and mating strategy so that those with higher expectancies would sext more. Results indicate that both men and women who endorse a short term mating strategy sext more. Also, results suggested that individual risk tolerance in the domain of mate attraction were significant in the decision to engage in sexting. Additionally results showed that participants expectancies regarding the effects of sexting were significant in the decision to engage in sexting. The implications for these findings, the limitations of the current study and the need for further research in these areas are discussed.

Rights

Copyright 2017 Scott Ploharz

Comments

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Psychology Commons

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