RSS
Do women sext more than men?
A provocative (and, some say, problematic) new study finds that two-thirds of surveyed women have sent nude photos or sexts
 
A new study says that women sext more than men, though plenty of skeptics are poking holes in the rather unscientific methodology.
A new study says that women sext more than men, though plenty of skeptics are poking holes in the rather unscientific methodology.
Jack Hollingsworth/CORBIS

In the never-ending battle of the sexes, women seem to have won the latest digital round: Researchers say that women are more likely to engage in sexting than men. A new study, provocatively titled Let My Fingers Do the Talking: Sexting and Infidelity in Cyberspace, found that two-thirds of surveyed women had sent nude photos or sexually suggestive text messages; only one-half of men had done the same. Women were also more likely to send nude pictures over the Internet, and reported meeting people in person after chatting online more often than men. "I know young men who are constantly getting naked pictures from women they know on their phones," says Dr. Diane Kholos Wysocki of the University of Nebraska, who co-authored the report. Are women really sexting more than men?

No. This study is flawed: The researchers surveyed more than 5,000 men and women who were registered with AshleyMadison.comsays Chris Matyszczyk at CNET. That's a website devoted to extramarital affairs. Their titillating slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair." "You might conclude that those who have mustered the courage to leap onto this site might have fewer inhibitions about sending disrobed images of themselves, along with textual sweet nothings." Plus, the users of AshleyMadison.com also tend to be older and more affluent than most people, so the survey results are biased, and can't be generalized to the rest of the population. 
"Study: Women bigger sexters than men"

Still, something is going on with women who sext: Most of the sexters and philanderers in recent scandals have been men, says Anna North in Jezebel. But these AshleyMadison.com users show that at least some women engage in similar behavior. "Female cheating is certainly stigmatized, but maybe women see fewer examples of their gender being publicly dragged through the mud, and so are less fearful of this treatment." Women might also view cheating as a rebellious act. At the very least, they seem less careful than men about cleaning out their inboxes, text messages and other "cybertrails."
"Cheating ladies are sexting without shame"

The economy might be to blame: "When the economy is in the tank, people are less interested in getting a divorce because they’re worried about the value of the home, paying for lawyers and for two households,' says Professor Bradford Wilcox, as quoted by Britain's Daily Mail. The lower divorce rate may be the reason women who are unhappily married are looking for attention elsewhere. "Before, people would just get a divorce. For some reason, people are staying and cheating instead."
"Let my fingers do the talking: Flirty women bigger sexters than men"

 

THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER

Subscribe to the Week