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Modern dating platforms have given rise to new dating and sexual behaviors. In the current study, we examine predictors of sending unsolicited explicit images, a particularly underexplored online sexual behavior. The aim of the current study was to explore the utility of dark personality traits i.
Men, compared to women, were found to have higher explicit image scale scores, and both self-rated mate value and trait Machiavellianism were positive predictors of explicit image scale scores. Interestingly, there were no ificant interactions between sex and these variables. Further, Machiavellianism mediated all relationships between other dark traits and explicit image scale scores, indicating this behavior is best explained by the personality trait associated with behavioral strategies.
In sum, these provide support for the premise that sending unsolicited explicit images may be a tactic of a short-term mating strategy; however, future research should further explore this claim. The surge of increased access to the Internet has brought along changes in mate selection, and the Web is now one of the most popular places to find a date or a romantic partner Fitzpatrick et al.
Although online dating offers ificant benefits see Finkel et al. Recent prevalence rates show that Despite the apparently prolific nature of this behavior, empirical research exploring individual difference predictors of sending nudes remains ificantly bereft. Receiving unsolicited images of genitals is increasingly common when online dating Ley, Although research has explored the occurrence of sexting in a committed romantic relationship e.
Of this, Tziallas explored these behaviors on the male homosexual location-based real-time dating applications or appsGrinder and Scruff. Participants reported primarily positive reactions at receiving an unsolicited dick pic. These are in direct contrast to reports of women who indicate that unsolicited dick pics are unwanted, can be shaming, and may nudes and sex be a form of online sexual harassment Vitis and Gilmour, In addition to the limited literature on sending unsolicited explicit images, individual differences for engaging in this behavior are not well-understood.
In the current research, we explore predictors of sending unsolicited explicit images in an attempt to establish if this behavior is nudes and sex predicted by deviant personality traits i. Specifically, we explore if this a sexually deviant behavior, or is this an advertisement of mate quality. Furthering the deviance of this behavior, sexting has been associated with risky behaviors such as alcohol and drug consumption Benotsch et al.
Considering the proposed deviance of this behavior, we expect personality traits associated with perpetration of deviant behaviors will predict sending unsolicited explicit images. The personality traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism the Dark Tetrad; see Chabrol et al.
These dark personality traits have been associated with more deviant sexual tendencies, including coercion Figueredo et al. In particular, trait psychopathy and sadism have been strongly associated with perpetration of sexually deviant behavior Williams et al.
The positive association between dark traits of personality and sexually exploitative behavior could extend to sending unsolicited explicit images, which have ly been defined as a form of online sexual harassment Vitis and Gilmour, Thus, if sending unsolicited explicit images is a sexually deviant behavior, then we expect that individuals with higher levels of dark personality traits particularly psychopathy and sadism will be more inclined to engage in this behavior.
Alternatively, engaging in this potentially risky sexual behavior may not only be due to deviant personality traits. Given the risks associated with sending sexual images particularly unsolicited ones including reputational damage Hudson et al. When adopting such a strategy, it is reasonable to suggest those individuals high in mate value would benefit the most, as they would be least likely to be rejected.
Finally, it is also possible that the sending of unsolicited explicit images is associated with a false-positive bias when interpreting sexual intent e. Such false-positive bias would lead individuals to send unsolicited explicit images, as they may genuinely believe nudes and sex person they are sending it to will enjoy receiving it, and this would be particularly relevant for individuals with higher self-rated mate value.
Further, as higher self-rated mate value in men is associated with higher sexual over-perception Kohl and Robertson,this may go some way to explaining why nudes and sex indicate that an unsolicited dick pic is unwanted and perceived as a form of online sexual harassment, compared to the positive reactions of men Vitis and Gilmour, Thus, if sending unsolicited explicit images is a mate quality advertisement 1then self-rated mate value should nudes and sex associated with the sending of explicit images, and this should be more prominent in men than women.
The aim of the current study was to establish the utility of dark personality traits i. We predicted that all dark personality traits and mate value would positively, ificantly predict these attitudes and behavior. Further, we predicted that men, compared to women, would have a more positive attitude toward and engage in higher perpetration nudes and sex sending unsolicited explicit images.
The majority of participants indicated that they were heterosexual Participants accessed the survey online via advertising material, and after consenting to participate completed each of the scales in random order. This study formed part of a larger survey, and total participation time was approximately 30 min.
This study was carried out in accordance with the recommendations of the Federation University Human Research Ethics Committee with informed consent from all subjects. All subjects gave informed consent in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. Materials for the current study included an online questionnaire with a of measures. Individual narcissism was measured using the NPI Ames et al. Participants responded Yes 2 or No 1 to 16 statements e. TABLE 1. Total descriptive values and sex differences for mate value, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, sadism, and explicit image scale.
Table 1 shows men were ificantly higher than women on narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, sadism, and explicit image scale. To assess appropriate inclusion of predictor variables in a regression model, bivariate correlations between predictor variables and criterion were assessed see Table 2. TABLE 2. The criterion of explicit image scale correlated positively with mate value, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism, and negatively with sex, supporting their inclusion in a regression model.
A multiple linear regression was conducted with sex, mate value, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism as the predictors and explicit image scale as the criterion. Coefficients and partial correlations can be seen in Table 3.
TABLE 3. Coefficients for sex, mate value, narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism predicting explicit image scale. In an effort to explore possible moderation of sex and the ificant predictors of mate value and Machiavellianism, interactions were calculated between sex and centralized mate value and Machiavellianism variables. Of interest was the ificant bivariate correlations between narcissism, psychopathy, and sadism and the explicit image scale, but the non-ificant partial correlations. Considering the conceptual overlap between all four dark personality traits Furnham et al.
Standardized regression coefficients for the relationship between narcissism and explicit image scale as mediated by Machiavellianism. Standardized regression coefficients for the relationship between psychopathy and explicit image scale as mediated by Machiavellianism. Standardized regression coefficients for the relationship between sadism and explicit image scale as mediated by Machiavellianism.
Figures 1 — 3 indicate that Machiavellianism partially mediated the relationship between narcissism and the explicit image scale, and fully mediated the relationship between psychopathy and the explicit image scale, and sadism and the explicit image scale.
showed utility for sex, mate value, and trait Machiavellianism in predicting this attitude and behavior. Men, compared to women, had higher explicit image scale scores, individuals with higher self-rated mate value had higher explicit image scale scores, and individuals with higher trait Machiavellianism had higher explicit image scale scores.
There were no interactions between self-rated mate value and sex, and Machiavellianism and sex. Thus, although men may have more positive attitudes toward and perpetrate more sending of unsolicited explicit images, this does not moderate the utility of self-rated mate value and Machiavellianism to predict explicit image scale scores.
As these dark traits have ly been associated with other sexually deviant behaviors, such as sexual coercion Figueredo et al. As research has not yet explored dark personality traits and the sending of unsolicited explicit images, interpretation of these are speculative. More so than the other dark personality traits, individuals with high levels of Machiavellianism are apt behavioral strategists, effectively and charmingly exploiting situations and others for their own benefit Book et al.
Thus, unlike the need for admiration associated with trait narcissism e. The ificance of self-rated mate value as a predictor also highlights the potential for sending unsolicited explicit images to be a mating strategy. Specifically, given both Machiavellianism and self-rated nudes and sex value were ificant predictors, the sending of explicit images could be a more aggressive tactic for manipulating another individual into a short-term sexual interaction.
A limitation of this research was that short-term mating orientation and sexual tactics were not directly measured, and so the utility of these variables in predicting the sending of explicit images remains to be seen. Interestingly, self-rated mate value remained a ificant predictor of explicit image scale scores even when considering gender in the model.
This is supported by evidence demonstrating that women act in an aggressive manner by trolling others on online dating apps as much as men do March et al. The differential utility of sending unsolicited explicit images as it relates to mate value between men and women should therefore continue to be explored. The nature of the current study was exploratory; thus, although are informative they are still descriptive in nature and therefore interpretation is speculative. Further, a of limitations are important to address. A ificant limitation of the current study is the self-report nature of the questions relating to the sending of explicit images.
In an effort to appear socially desirable, it is possible that men may have overestimated and women underestimated their engagement in and enjoyment of this behavior; still, considering the behavior in question an objective measure may prove hard. A further limitation is the unexplained variance in the explicit image scale. A range of other factors are also likely to predict the sending of explicit images; for example, recipient reactions when receiving these images. It is reasonable to assume a range of individual differences exist between those who continue to send explicit images after receiving a negative or positive reaction from the recipient.
Considering the propensity individuals with higher levels of these dark traits have for sexually exploiting others e. Such could further establish if engaging in this behavior is a mechanism to facilitate short-term mating in which case correlations with offline sexual behavior should be observedor is more akin to a sexually deviant behavior. In summary, behavior and attitudes toward the sending of unsolicited explicit images is associated with being male, higher self-rated mate-value, and Machiavellianism, all of which suggest the sending of explicit images could be an extreme form of short-term mating strategy.
While speculative, this study is the first to explore what motivations individuals might have to engage in this behavior online, and thus opens up new avenues for investigation. EM and DW: Helped construct idea for research, collected data, ran analyses, helped produce drafts.
The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Ahern, N. Sexting: serious problems for youth. Health Serv. Ames, D. The NPI as a short measure of narcissism.
Benotsch, E. Sexting, substance use, and sexual risk behavior in young adults. Health 52, — Book, A. Buckels, E.Nudes and sex
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