Sexting within young adults’ dating and romantic relationships

Joris Van Ouytsel, Narissra M. Punyanunt-Carter, Michel Walrave, Koen Ponnet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Sexting, herein defined as the sending of self-made sexually explicit images, is a modern-day form of sexual communication. This review discusses recent findings in sexting research among (young) adults. We find that despite its risks, sexting is increasingly used within dating and romantic relationships and can carry different meanings depending on the context in which the images are exchanged. Risks associated with sexting include pressure, experiences of unwanted sexting, unauthorized distribution, and coercion. Problematic forms of sexting can have significant consequences on the victims. We suggest the need for future research to make use of a uniform and nuanced measure of sexting and underscore the need to focus on adolescents as well as adults of all ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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