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Weiner got caught sexting - but it's not like he's the only one

It's one thing to Tweet a photo of your crotch to a young woman who's not your wife. It's another to insist the bulging crotch isn't yours, New York Democrat Anthony Weiner has discovered.

"I lied because I was ashamed at what I had done, and I didn't want to get caught," he said in a press conference Monday, CNN reports.

Mr. Weiner added he has no plans to resign, although he admitted to exchanging photos "of an explicit nature" with about six women he'd met online over the past three years.

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But as lewd as his admission may be, Mr. Weiner is hardly the only public figure with a sexting habit.

Wisconsin district attorney Ken Kratz resigned in October after he was accused of "sexting" women involved in cases he was prosecuting, reported USA Today.

NFL quarterback Brett Favre became embroiled in a sexting scandal for allegedly sending racy photos to Jenn Sterger, a sideline reporter who insists she never met the athlete personally.

And former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his top aide, Christine Beatty, caused an uproar when their torrid sexting affair was revealed.

The bottom line is that plenty of adults are spicing up their sext lives.

A third of young adults (aged 20 to 26) engage in sexting, a 2008 survey found. And according to AARP, a website for retirees, the over-50 set is trading dirty photos too.

"It's a part of our dating culture to be doing this," Michelle Drouin, a psychologist at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, told ABC News. After studying sexting behaviour among college students, she found that half of people in committed relationships had sent a nude or semi-nude photo to their partners, and two-thirds had exchanged sexy messages.

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People with healthier relationship styles – those who neither avoid relationships nor are anxiously attached – don't tend to sext as much, Ms. Drouin found.

So maybe relationship therapy could help Congressman Weiner let go of the urge to hit send.

How do you feel about adult sexting?

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About the Author

Adriana Barton is based in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. Her article on growing up with counterculture parents is published in a McGraw-Hill anthology, right after an essay by Margaret Atwood. She wishes her last name didn’t start with B. More

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