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Is Sexting Actually Sexist? Research Says It Is


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By definition “sexism” is the attitude or behavior based on traditional stereotypes of gender roles. That doesn’t sound so negative, right? We’re diving deeper into sexism and exploring the idea that sexting is “misogynistic” which is by definition means “hatred towards women or male dominance.”

You might be surprised at how closely misogyny is linked with sexting – sending sexually explicit photos, images, text messages, or emails by using a cell phone or other mobile device.

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) recently released a report based on research conducted on various teens about the behaviour of both males and female with their experience in sexting.

What Research Suggests

Majority of the girls had received requests from males asking for nude pictures and to perform sexual services to the boys. However, girls asking boys for oral sex was uncommon. From these findings, a clear one-way direction of communication was found where the males were more inclined towards sexting. It is also interesting to note that several boys claimed to have collected numerous erotic images from girls and stashed them in their phones, whereas none of the girls in the focus group reported having sent any images of such sort. Sounds odd, right?

text messageThe Break Down:  Misogynistic

The fact that boys in the focus group were in possession of erotic images demonstrated peer status. Boys who announced that their phones were filled with naked girls, were often the ones looking for power and higher status, like having more money than others. It is basically photogenic proof that the boy can “get some” – like popularity currency.

The Double Standard

This idea of popularity currency doesn’t exist in a girl’s world. Research shows that if a girl sends nude pictures of herself, or indulges in sexual content through texts, she is often severely “slut shamed” by peers. Basically a female’s sexual desires are viewed as inappropriate behaviour and the female is then lectured on how she should respect herself.

Faze took this issue to the public and asked our readers if they think that sexting is sexist. Here’s what we found:

In the past, some guys have asked me for nudes through text messages, and when I turned them down, I was verbally abused by them. It’s like a power struggle in which the men somehow think they have authority to ask for what they want. If I were to ask the guy for nudes, I would probably be called a slut or something profane. – Christina Herondale, 19

I definitely believe sexting is sexist for obvious reasons. Some guys just think they’re cooler and more badass if they ask and receive erotic pictures from girls. Some of them are pretty much objectifying their bodies and using it as a tool to look good in front of their peers. Last time I checked, none of my girlfriends ever went around flaunting that they had nude pictures of guys. – Cathy Mah, 17

Although I know some girls who have sexted before, they weren’t so proud of it when they admitted it. But some of my guy friends would proudly announce that they sexted at some point. Talk about a sexist double standard. – Ali Brown, 20

I can see how sexting can come off as sexist but there’s also another side to this picture. My friend and her husband sext sometimes and she says it has helped maintain their relationship in some odd way. She says that the content sent back on forth is fairly mutual and consensual. – Sandra Briard, 22

I have sexted with a guy before, and frankly it mostly involved him asking for pictures of my body for his pleasure. And when I asked for his, he felt uncomfortable. I was surprised that he didn’t consider that maybe I had felt uncomfortable too. – Laira Baldwin, 18

sexism_and_violence_against_women

So whaddya think? Is sexting sexist? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook @fazemagazine.

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