What with Facebook friends, Twitter followers and Skype video chats, it is now all too easy to flirt with strangers and engage in sexual fantasy without (technically) breaking a marriage vow. Digital dalliance has entered the mainstream.
For instance, sexting — sending sexually suggestive text messages or photos, as Mr. Weiner did — is usually thought of as a teenage pastime. But according to a report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project based on a representative sample of 2,252 adults surveyed by telephone in May 2010, it is far more common among people ages 18 to 29.
Nearly one-third of that group say they have received sexually suggestive or nude photos of someone they know, and 13 percent say they have sent them, the report said. Even among 30-to-49-year-olds, 17 percent say they have received such photos and 5 percent admit sending them. Similar Pew research finds that the comparable figures among adolescents with cellphones are 15 percent and 4 percent.
“Given the alchemy of sex and lust and love and technology, it’s not that surprising that the numbers are where they are,” said Amanda Lenhart, a senior research specialist at Pew. “Anecdotally, those of us who know single younger adults know people who do this.” Read More