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Sexting more prevalent among women than men

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When sexting pops up in the news, it's often the foible of some famous man, like Brett Favre or that guy with the phallic last name… I just can't seem to remember it — I must have not heard it enough. But new research seems to indicate that women are more likely to engage in sexy texting than men.

Researchers surveyed married and single people looking for noncommittal flirtation and hookups online, and found that two-thirds of women reported sending sexually explicit texts or photos of themselves via phone or email, while only half of men did. 

Study co-author Diane Kholos Wysocki, professor of sociology at the Unversity of Nebraska at Kearney:

"Of course, this is a self-selected population, but I've also observed that women are more likely to show pictures of themselves than guys are…"

The study surveyed more than 5,000 men and women on the popular "affair-finder" site AshleyMadison.com. Admittedly, this is a sample inclined to infidelity, and so maybe it doesn't come as such a surprise that the researchers found that more than two-thirds of the respondents had cheated online while in a serious relationship.

Also, the study doesn't address one of the inherent questions about sexting or online flirtation: at what point, if any, does it become infidelity? Many people identify the difference between "physical infidelity" and "emotional infidelity," but the latter category includes everything from pornography to simply sharing secrets with someone who isn't your partner, which is a large net to cast when discussing cheating.

Is it simply that the gap between actual infidelity and online flirtation/sexting is wide enough that more women feel comfortable indulging in it? It's commonly held that men are more likely to physically cheat, while women are more likely to engage in emotional infidelity — is the sexting statistic reflection of that?