Despite the vast technological changes in recent years, the desire to arouse a loved one persists — making sexting a commonality in modern relationships. While it’s gotten bad press for its role in political and celebrity scandals, research is pointing to something called healthy sexting — a vehicle for enhancing the amorous dimensions of loving relationships. Although there’s no limit to the creative ways texting can be used to suggest or entice or arouse, some important parameters can help to distinguish healthy from unhealthy sexting.
Dr. Aaron Cooper, PhD at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, is available to comment on the behaviors of healthy sexting.
"Healthy sexting is consensual. Sender and receiver ought to agree, prior to a first message, that sex-oriented texting is acceptable and welcome." explains Dr. Cooper. "Receiving sexts without prior agreement can be unwelcome and unsettling. Studies have found significant percentages of people — particularly women — sexting as a result of pressure from their partners, and finding themselves afterwards feeling regretful and remorseful for what they’ve done."
Dr. Cooper earned his doctorate from Loyola University of Chicago, following a three-year internship at the Loyola Guidance Clinic. Prior to that, he received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) from Harvard University.
To speak to Dr. Cooper about the role of healthy sexting within a romantic partnership, or to learn more about The Family Institute, please contact Jill Antoniewicz, Chief External Relations Officer, at jantoniewicz@family-institute or 312-609-5300, ext. 340.
ABOUT THE FAMILY INSTITUTE AT NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY – The Family Institute at Northwestern University (www.family-institute.org) is committed to strengthening and healing families, couples and individuals from all walks of life through clinical service, education and research. An affiliate of Northwestern University, The Family Institute is a relationally based mental health system of care governed by its own independent Board of Directors and responsible for its own funding. The Institute offers a wide range of high quality mental health counseling through our staff practice and our sliding-fee scale Bette D. Harris Family and Child Clinic, where we are committed to serving at-risk, under-resourced communities. The Family Institute also operates two nationally-renowned graduate programs in marriage and family therapy and counseling psychology in affiliation with Northwestern University, and conducts cutting-edge research projects that lead to a better understanding and treatment of mental health issues.