Study Findings Suggest Many Sexting Relationships Turn Physical, Lead to Cheating

Posted on July 13th, 2011

It’s the human connection through physical meetings, says a recent study, that may supersede many online-based relationships. In many cases an online or cell phone relationship is likely to progress to real-world meetings, despite a person’s intimate involvement with another partner or a spouse.

The conclusion that most people still seek a personal, real-life relationship from their sexting interactions is just one of the findings from a study that explored the link between sexting and cheating on one’s intimate partner. Conducted by the University of Nebraska and Washburn University researchers, the study sheds light on how the use of technology such as cell phones and the Internet has impacted people’s desire to seek out human-to-human encounters, even when they’re already in a relationship.

During sexting, messages with illicit and sexual photos are sent to someone else’s phone, with or without an accompanying sexual-based text message. When people who are in a committed relationship engage in sexting, said the researchers, they’re more likely to get involved in an actual relationship outside of technology. Of the 5,187 people who participated in the survey, more than 66 percent had used a technology-based tool to cheat on their partners, such as Internet usage or a cell phone. At least 75 percent had pursued a real-world relationship with someone who wasn’t their intimate partner. Around eight out of every 10 women who took part in the study said they had made arrangements to meet with someone they had formed a relationship with, or contact with, on the Internet.

Age made a difference in the participants’ sexual activity, said researchers. As men aged, they had higher chances of becoming unfaithful in a relationship beyond Internet boundaries. Where sexting was concerned, people in the demographic age range of 19 to 24 years old had higher chances of sending illicit or nude images via a cell phone than did older people in the study.

Other experts and psychologists commenting on the study have agreed with the researchers’ conclusion that when people engage in sexually-charged behaviors online or with a cell phone, their chances of escalating the relationship to real-world affair status are also higher. Psychology professor at New York’s Hunter College, Jeffrey Parsons, said that the makeup of certain web sites, especially those that encourage cheating, draws people in who want more than just an experience of doing something risky.

However, study researcher Kholos Wysocki says that the study results do not indicate that the Internet is a direct cause of rising rates of infidelity, but rather the findings point to the idea that technology provides increased availability of sexual encounters and allows the location process of a new partner to happen more quickly.

Sexting continues to gain national and expert attention within recent headlines, including of Congressman Anthony Weiner’s sexting to several women outside of his marriage. Sexting and other behaviors, such as those related to sexual addiction and pornography addiction, are increasingly becoming the focus of research studies to explore the symptoms and treatments of these conditions affecting millions of adults in the U.S.

Upcoming Two-Week Intensives

  • June 1 - June 12
  • June 15 - June 26
  • June 29 - July 10
  • July 13 - July 24
  • July 27 - August 7
  • August 10 - August 21
  • August 24 - September 4
  • September 14 - September 25
  • September 28 - October 9
  • October 12 - October 23
  • October 26 - November 6
  • November 9 - November 20
  • November 30 - December 11

Evening Intensives
for Addicts


Tuesday 6:30 to 9 pm, Thursday 6:30 to 9 pm and Saturday 9:30 am to noon

Online Treatment of Sexual Addiction
Some facilities, including SRI, offer online services for sexual addiction treatment patients and partners on the phone or via webcam. Nearly all of the 12-Step sexual addiction programs also provide online support group meetings and weekly sexual recovery chats.
For More Information Give Us A Call
CALL TODAY 844-877-7828 844-877-7828
Stay Informed
Keep up to date on addiction news and behavioral health.
Sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.
Confidential Assessment
  • **Your Information will be kept strictly confidential
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sexual Addiction News  Sexual Addiction News

On June 19, Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, a noted clinician and founder of the Sexual Recovery InstituteSM, will present “Assessing and Treating Sexual Addiction in

Men with sex addiction commonly fall into subgroups distinguished by specific characteristics, a team of Canadian researchers reports.

This is the second in a two-part series. While some addiction specialists, even those who work closely with sex addicts, may not agree that sex

This is the first in a two-part series. It comes from a discussion with an escort and webcam girl working in a major U.S. city.