The number of people sex messaging is through the roof! I’m just kidding; it’s not through the roof. It’s like almost through the roof. In a recent study, 78 percent of college students admitted to sending sex messages. What’s a sex message for those of you not in the know?

Sexting is when you send smoking hot text messages to someone. It’s kind of like old school phone sex except in text form.

About half the time, sex messages include sexually suggested pictures as well. While lots of students are sexting, the rates for those under 18 drop off significantly. Only 4 percent of those between the ages of 12 and 17 have sent sexually suggested pictures to someone, but 15 percent say they received them.

And what is quite possibly the silliest question science has ever asked? A new study published in the journal cyber psychology behavior and social networking sought to answer the question, why do people sext? Uhmm..really? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s partially because…uhmm, we can call it “genital tingling.” Scientist found that the vast majority of those who send sex messages are in relationship with the other person. So, it’s basically another way that people are getting sexual with their partner in the 21st century.

What’s interesting though is that the researchers found a big division of how people experienced sexting. Men were more likely to report positive outcomes: it’ sexy, it makes them feel excited, easier to flirt. Women on the other hand reported negative outcomes. They thought things like: it makes me feel embarrassed and sexting is uncomfortable.

So why could that be? The leading researcher on the study believes this to be in part a result of the double standards facing women when it comes to expressing their sexuality. It’s much more accepted and even encouraged for men to be openly sexual whereas for women, it’s more shameful. Women may also be uncomfortable because that double standard means that they are going to face more consequences should the other person violate their privacy and distribute those pictures without their permission.

Women are more likely to bury the brunt of cyber-bullying, social humiliation, and psychological distress as we have seen with cases like Amanda Todd. The researchers also say the reports of embarrassment and discomfort suggest that some people may be pressuring other to sext when they don’t want to. Which is definitely not cool.

So, even though stuff like does happen, studies found relatively few situations where participants reported negative consequences from sexting. The researchers say issues of cyber-bullying and peer pressure are something that more studies should look into.

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