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Study sheds light on the reasons why men send unsolicited nude photos

Study sheds light on the reasons why men send unsolicited nude photos

A new Study has shed light on the reasons why men send unsolicited nude photos. Men who send unrequested images of their genitals primarily do so with the hopes of receiving similar images or sexual interactions in return, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research.

“We were interested in this topic because, until now, there had not been any empirical research into the motives men have for sending unsolicited pictures of their private parts. There were plenty of hypotheses, theoretical musings, and anecdotal postulations, but no actual scientific investigation,” said study author Cory L. Pedersen of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and founder of the ORGASM Research Lab.

In the study, 1,087 heterosexual men completed surveys to assess demographic information, narcissism, sexual behavior, sexism, and motivations behind sending genital pictures. Approximately half of the participants reported sending unsolicited genital images, while the other half did not.

Motivations behind Sending Unsolicited nude pictures

The researchers discovered that men who sent unsolicited images tended to be younger, more narcissistic, and more sexist. The most common reason why men send nude photos was the hope of receiving sexual pictures in return, followed by the desire to arouse the recipient.

Only about 18% of men reported sending unsolicited images for their own gratification. Most men also hoped to make the recipient of the image feel excited or attractive.

“People should appreciate the significance of scientific research. It is often believed that the main reason men send unsolicited explicit pictures is because they dislike women or are sexist and want to anger, shame, or express hostility toward women,” Pedersen told PsyPost.

“This study revealed something quite different. This study revealed that the main reasons men send explicit pictures are for transactional purposes (‘I’ll show you mine and you show me yours’) or partner hunting (‘you’ve seen my genitals, let’s hook up’).”

“Men desire positive reactions from recipients, such as feelings of attractiveness, contrary to common expectations,” Pedersen noted.

“That doesn’t mean we should condone this behavior or not criticize men for sending unsolicited images. Consent is important, and sending unsolicited images violates consent. But it does mean that without scientific guidance, our understanding of people’s behavior may be based on unfounded assumptions.”

Negative intentions for sending nude photos

However, it should be noted that not all men have good intentions when sending unsolicited images. Approximately 10% agreed with the statement “Sending explicit pictures gives me a feeling of control over the person that I have sent it to,” and nearly 6% agreed that “I feel a sense of dislike towards women, and sending explicit pictures is satisfying.”

“Our results show that a minority of men sent nude pictures to evoke negative emotions,” the researchers reported.

“We still need to examine women’s responses and reactions to receiving unsolicited explicit pictures because, again, the assumption is that women universally find the receipt of such images repugnant.” “We lack research data on women’s varied responses to nude photos and human sexuality.” Pedersen added.

“We’re collecting data on women’s responses to unsolicited nude pictures to better understand this.”


The study, “I’ll Show You Mine so You’ll Show Me Yours: Motivations and Personality Variables in Photographic Exhibitionism“, was authored by Flora Oswald, Alex Lopes, Kaylee Skoda, Cassandra L. Hesse, and Cory L. Pedersen.

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