Butler Journal of Undergraduate Research

Faculty Sponsor

Katherine B. Novak


Sexting, the exchange of sexually explicit messages, images, and videos through mobile phones, has in recent years become an increasingly publicized and common occurrence in our technologically advanced society (Strassberg, Rullo, & Mackaronis, 2014). The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of gender, gender role attitudes, and self-perceptions of masculinity and femininity on participation in and motivations for sexting. Using a cross-sectional design, a self-administered questionnaire was given to 222 Butler students during the early part of the spring 2016 academic semester. This questionnaire included items regarding demographics, the activity of sexting, personal participation in sexting, self-perceptions of masculinity and femininity, and gender role attitudes. While there was no gender difference in the frequency of sending sext messages, study results showed a significant relationship between gender and pressures to sext. Females are more likely to feel constrained by social norms when it comes to sexual behavior, whereas males have more freedom in this area. In addition, those with egalitarian gender role attitudes are more likely to accept sexting as a form of intimacy, indicating this technology has been integrated into sexual relationships.