The role of HEXACO personality traits in different kinds of sexting: A cross-cultural study in 10 countries



Sexting has been defined as sharing sexually suggestive content (i.e., sexts) via Internet or smartphone. To date, only a few studies investigated the role of personality traits in relation to sending or receiving sexts, and most of them used the Five Factor Model of Personality. No studies applied the theoretical model of HEXACO six personality traits (i.e., honesty-humility, emotionality, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) when examining different types of sexting (i.e., sending own sexts, risky sexting, sharing sexts from someone else without his/her permission, sexting under pressure). Thus, this is the first study that, using a cross-cultural perspective, investigated HEXACO personality predictors of sexting behaviors considered as a multidimensional construct. A total of 5542 participants from 13 to 30 years old (Mage = 20.36; SDage = 3.67; 60.4% girls and 39.6% boys) from 10 different countries participated in the study. Participants completed the sexting behaviors questionnaire and the HEXACO personality inventory. Four hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to investigate which HEXACO personality traits predicted different sexting behaviors, controlling for country, biological sex, age, sexual identity status, and dating relationship status. Results showed that honesty-humility and conscientiousness were negatively predictive of all investigated sexting behaviors. Emotionality and extraversion were positively related, and agreeableness was negatively related to sending own sexts and risky sexting. Finally, openness to experience was negatively related to sharing sexts from someone else without his/her consent and sexting under pressure. Results have implications for the development and implementation of sexual education and prevention programs aimed towards adolescents and young adults.


• This cross-cultural investigated which HEXACO personality traits predicted sexting.
• Low honesty/humility and low conscientiousness predicted all sexting behaviors.
• Low emotionality predicted risky sexting.
• High extraversion and low agreeableness predicted experimental and risky sexting.
• Low openness to experience predicted aggravated sexting.

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Computers in Human Behavior