Yet only 22% of millennial men admit to having sent a so-called "dick pic"
The prospect of receiving an unwanted a selfie of a man’s unmentionables – known as a “dick pic” – has become an unfortunate fact of life for many young women. It is unlikely that the creators of the first camera phones anticipated that their invention would open the door to men sending women photos of their genitalia in an ill-advised attempt at seduction or, worse still, sending them in a deliberate attempt at intimidation.
Now YouGov research conducted among 2,121 women and 1,738 men (all aged 18-36) between July and September last year reveals the "dick pic" experiences of British millennials.
Close to half of female millennials (46%) say they have been sent a photo of a penis, with women being more likely to have received one the younger they are (53% of 18-24 year olds compared to 36% of 31-36 year olds).
Of those women who have ever been sent a "dick pic", nine in ten (89%) have received one without having asked for it, meaning that 41% of all millennial women have been sent an unsolicited photo of a man's private parts.
By contrast, only 30% of male millennials claim to have been asked by a woman to send them a photo of their penis, and only 22% of millennial men say they have ever sent one. Fewer still admit to having sent an unsolicited "dick pic" – about 5% of all male millennials.
The apparent gap between men and women's responses will be in part because some men did not wish to admit to having sent penis photos (especially the unsolicited kind), but also because some men will be responsible for sending "dick pics" to multiple women. It will also be the case that millennial women are receiving photos from men older than those covered by this study.
Of course, not all such images are unsolicited – YouGov found that 12% of millennial women have asked to be sent a penis photo (with 94% of them getting their wish).
Solicited or not, many millennials had their first experience of being sent a photo of male genitalia at a worryingly young age.
It is illegal to send someone younger than 18 an indecent image. Yet almost half (46%) of millennial women who have received a "dick pic" were younger than 18 the first time it happened, and this figure rises to 71% of 18-24 year olds. Likewise, 30% of millennial men who have sent one did so while they were below the legal age to do so, increasing to 44% among 18-24 year olds.
Are "dick pics" even sexy? Men who send them seem to think so. Women who have received them, not so much…
YouGov examined whether or not men understood how women feel about being sent penis pictures. In order to do so, we asked female millennials which from a list of nine words they would use to describe "dick pics". We then asked male millennials which words from the same list they thought women would use to describe them.
The findings show a disconnect between the two groups, with the greatest mismatch of opinions being between men who have ever sent a penis picture and women who have ever received one.
Women who have ever received a "dick pic" are most likely to describe them as gross (58%) or stupid (54%). There does seem to be acknowledgement of this among men who have sent them – 55% believed women would describe them as gross, as did 46% for stupid.
However, men who have sent dick pics are far more likely than women who have received them to think they are seen as “sexy” (44% vs 14%), “funny” (51% vs 28%) and “boring” (50% vs 28%).