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The Surprising Secrets of Sexting

Text messages filled with illicit photos or steamy conversations, more commonly referred to as "sexting," have become a major recurrence in modern divorces, according to family attorneys in Pasadena. Politician Anthony Weiner and sports icon Brett Favre are among two of the most recent and notorious sexting cases. But a new study says women, not men, usually send sexy text messages.

Let My Fingers Do the Talking: Sexting and Infidelity in Cyberspace by Diane Kholos Wysocki and Cheryl D. Childers is a groundbreaking new study that blows the lid off our preconceived notions about sexting and cheating. Nearly two-thirds of the women surveyed by Kholos Wysocki and Childers admitted to sending sext messages, compared with almost half the men. The study found that women are also more likely to meet people in real life after meeting them online.

"Cheating is alive and well, and sexting is on the rise," said Kholos Wysocki, whose first study of sex on the Internet dates to 1992, back in the dial-up days. "But I don't believe the Internet is causing people to cheat. There seems to be something going on with marriage that's the bigger social issue. Before, people would just get a divorce. For some reason, people are staying and cheating instead."

Women, according to the study, were less worried about getting caught sexting and were less cautious about covering their tracks. Kholos Wysocki says this isn't surprising.

"I know young men who are constantly getting naked pictures from women they know on their phones. They're constant!" she says.

This one-of-a-kind study was conducted with an online survey on the infidelity website AshelyMadison.com. Conducted in 2009, the survey probed the site's members about sexual behaviors as well as demographic information. 5,187 responses were used to compose the data in the survey.

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