Social norms, peer pressure and reciprocity

How common young people think sexting is has been identified as one of the strongest factors influencing whether they send sexts.

To see whether this applied to sharing sexts as well, we asked participants how common they thought sending and sharing sexts was among their peers, as well as how many of their close friends had done either. While this did have some relationship with their own sharing behaviours, a much stronger association was found with whether or not they thought their friends would expect them to share any sexts they received and, even more powerfully, whether they expected their friends to share sexts with them.