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Progress in cyber technology has created innovative ways for individuals to communicate with each other. Sophisticated cell phones, often with integrated cameras, have made it possible for users to instantly send photos, videos, and other materials back and forth to each other regardless of their physical separation. This same technology also makes sexting possible – sending nude or semi-nude images, often of oneself, to others electronically (e.g., by text message, email). Few studies examining sexting have been published, and most have focused on the legal issues associated with juvenile sexting. In general, lacking are empirical analyses of the prevalence of sexting, and its potential consequences (i.e., victimization) that are theoretically grounded. Accordingly, we explored the possible link between sexting and online personal victimization (i.e., cybervictimization) among a sample of college students. As hypothesized, respondents who engaged in sexting were more likely to not only experience cybervictimization, but also to be victimized by different types of cybervictimization.
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The unintended consequences of
digital technology: exploring the
relationship between sexting and
Bradford W. Reyns
, Melissa W. Burek
, Billy Henson
& Bonnie
S. Fisher
Department of Criminal Justice, Weber State University, 1206
University Circle, Ogden, UT, 84408-1206, USA
Department of Criminal Justice, Bowling Green State University,
223 Health Center, Bowling Green, OH, 43403, USA
Department of Criminal Justice, Shippensburg University, 1871
Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA, 17257-2299, USA
School of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, 665 Dyer
Hall, PO Box 210389, Cincinnati, OH, 45221-0389, USA
Available online: 07 Dec 2011
To cite this article: Bradford W. Reyns, Melissa W. Burek, Billy Henson & Bonnie S. Fisher (2011):
The unintended consequences of digital technology: exploring the relationship between sexting and
cybervictimization, Journal of Crime and Justice, DOI:10.1080/0735648X.2011.641816
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Downloaded by [Bradford W. Reyns] at 10:23 07 December 2011
The unintended consequences of digital technology: exploring the
relationship between sexting and cybervictimization
Bradford W. Reyns
*, Melissa W. Burek
, Billy Henson
and Bonnie S. Fisher
Department of Criminal Justice, Weber State University, 1206 University Circle, Ogden,
UT 84408-1206, USA;
Department of Criminal Justice, Bowling Green State University,
223 Health Center, Bowling Green, OH 43403, USA;
Department of Criminal Justice,
Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, PA 17257-2299, USA;
School of
Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, 665 Dyer Hall, PO Box 210389, Cincinnati,
OH 45221-0389, USA
(Received 12 July 2011; final version received 15 November 2011)
Progress in cyber technology has created innovative ways for individuals to
communicate with each other. Sophisticated cell phones, often with integrated
cameras, have made it possible for users to instantly send photos, videos, and
other materials back and forth to each other regardless of their physical
separation. This same technology also makes sexting possible sending nude or
semi-nude images, often of oneself, to others electronically (e.g., by text message,
email). Few studies examining sexting have been published, and most have
focused on the legal issues associated with juvenile sexting. In general, lacking are
empirical analyses of the prevalence of sexting, and its potential consequences
(i.e., victimization) that are theoretically grounded. Accordingly, we explored the
possible link between sexting and online personal victimization (i.e., cybervicti-
mization) among a sample of college students. As hypothesized, respondents who
engaged in sexting were more likely to not only experience cybervictimization, but
also to be victimized by different types of cybervictimization.
Keywords: sexting; college students; victimization; cybervictimization; lifestyles
Advances in technology have always provided a means for individuals to do old
things in new, supposedly improved, ways. Education, transportation, economics,
engineering, and other building blocks of society have all evolved through
technological revolutions. Similarly, communication and social interactions have
been greatly affected by recent advancements in technology, with emails, instant
messages, text messages, and webcams becoming an integral part of individuals’
daily personal and professional lives. Like other forms of social interaction, the
exchange of sexually charged messages back and forth between individuals (e.g.,
dirty talk) has not been immune to these technological advancements. Sexting, or
‘sex texting,’ involves sending sexually explicit text messages or images electronically,
primarily from one cellular phone to another but also via email attachments or
instant messages.
*Corresponding author. Email:
Journal of Crime and Justice
2011, 1–17, iFirst article
ISSN 0735-648X print/ISSN 2158-9119 online
Ó 2011 Midwestern Criminal Justice Association
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Sexting is another example of doing an old behavior (e.g., phone sex) through a
new medium, and illustrates Odum’s (1937) concept of technicways. Technicways are
‘habits and customs that develop as adjustments to innovations of science and
technology’ (Vance 1972, p. 457). They are patterns in behavior that come about as a
response to innovative new technologies (Bryant 1984). It was not until the mid to
late 2000s, however, that the technology existed to allow users to exchange these
types of text messages or images electronically. As a result of the newness of sexting,
little is known about its scope, who engages in this behavior, or what the
consequences may be. And while anecdotal, frequent media accounts of sexting
scandals involving the famous and influential (e.g., former NFL quarterback Brett
Favre, former US Congressman Anthony W einer), as well as reports of sexting
among students in the USA, highlight the need for research in this as yet unexplored
area. Utilizing a random sample of college undergraduates at a large urban university
in the Midwest, we delve into this uncharted area by estimating the prevalence of
sexting, identifying patterns in who is likely to receive or send sexually explicit
messages, and exploring the relationship between sexting and cybervictimization.
The extent and nature of sexting
Aside from a handful of law review articles and commercial reports on sexting,
scholarly studies that estimate the extent of sexting or investigate its nature are scant.
This lack of attention by scholars is surprising considering that ‘texting has become a
centerpiece in teen social life, and parents, educators and advocates have grown
increasingly concerned about the role of cell phones in the sexual lives of teens and
young adults’ (Lenhart 2009, p. 2). What we know is that young persons are active
participants in sexting. Recent surveys of teens and yo ung adults in the USA provide
insight on the prevalence of this behavior.
Drawing from the results of five studies that estimated the extent of sexting
among teenagers, Hinduja and Patchin (2010) reported that between 4 and 19% of
teens engaged in sexting at some time in their lives. In their study that surveyed 4,400
11–18-year-old students from a large public school district, they reported that 12.9%
of those surveyed had received sext messages, and 7.7% admitted to sending nude or
semi-nude images of themselves to someone else within the last 30 days. Further,
males were more likely to report receiving messages than females, while males and
females were equally likely to report sending such messages.
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and (2008) conducted one of the largest and most widely cited studies on
sexting to date.
The results of this online survey indicated that sexting is common
among both teens (i.e., those between 13 and 19 years old) and young adults
(i.e., those between 20 and 26 years old). According to their report, 20% of teens and
33% of young adults have sent or posted nude or semi-nude images of themselves
electronically (e.g., email, text message, instant message). Respondents were also
asked who they had sent sexually explicit content to, with 83% of young adult
women and 75% of young adult men indicating that they sent such content to a
boyfriend/girlfriend. Further, 21% of young adult women and 30% of young adult
men disclosed that they had sent sexually explicit content to someone that they
wanted to date or ‘hook up with.’ Of those who admitted to sharing these images,
15% of women and 23% of men also indicated they had shared these materials with
someone they only knew online.
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The Pew Research Center conducted a similar study of US teens in 2009, and
reported lifetime estimates of sexting among a nationally representative sample of
teens. The Center reported that 4% of respondents between 12 and 17 years old
admitted to sending sexually explicit images of themselves to someone via text
message and 15% indicated that they had received such messages (Lenhart 2009).
The study also suggested that sexting increases as teens get older, with 8% of
17-year-olds sending explicit images and 30% receiving them. Further, focus groups
produced a range of opinions among teens about sexting. Some indicated that they
thought it was quite common, while others believed it to be infrequent. Likewise,
some thought that it was an acceptable behavior and a safe alternative to actual sex,
while others indicated that sexting is inappropriate and damaging to one’s
reputation, thereby possibly leading to unrealized ramifications because of engaging
in sexting behaviors (Lenhart 2009). To date, however, researchers have only
speculated as to the resultant harm from sexting. As the next section illustrates, there
is a growing body of circumstantial evidence that necessitates empirical testing of the
relationship between participating in sexting and victimization.
The unintended consequences of sexting
Thus far, researchers have not explored what the consequences of engaging in sexting
might be; however, recent legal cases and news accounts indicate that participating in
such behaviors can lead to unfortunate outcomes. For instance, in 2009, six teens in
Greensburg, Pennsylvania were involved in a sexting case in which three teenage girls
sent nude images of themselves to three male teenage classmates. The district
attorney in the case offered not to pursue charges if the teens would attend a class
about avoiding sexual predators an d write an essay on sexting. The three girls
refused, ultimately sending the case to the Third Court of Appeals, which ruled that
the girls could not be charged with manufacturing, possessing, or distributing child
pornography simply because they were in the pictures (Miller v. Mitchell 2010).
This court case and media accounts of sexting among youths ha ve caught the
attention of legislators and caused them to reevaluate the legal status of sexting.
In 2009, legislatures in Utah and Vermont reduced the penalties for minors involved
in sexting. A year later, 15 state legislatures were considering bills that addressed
sexting by minors. In Arizona, Illinois, and Louisiana, such legislation was signed
into law in 2010. For example, in Arizona, if a juvenile distributes or displays sexual
material involving a minor to one other person, it is considered a petty offense, but
distributing the image to more than one person raises it to the level of a class three
misdemeanor. Overall, legislatures and courts seem to be loosening the penalties for
minors who participate in sexting (Lenhart 2009). In the case of the Pennsylvania
teens, a federal appeals court recently ruled that parents can block the prosecution of
their children on child pornography charges for appearing in such photos, an act
that the parents argued is protected by the state constitution (Miller v. Mitchell
While some have suggested that sexting may be an essentially victimless crime
(Jaishankar 2009), it appears that sexting can have serious, even if unintended,
consequences for those involved. The transmission of sexually explicit images or
messages from one cell phone or email account to another personalizes the
interaction between senders and recipients of such messages (Ling and Yttri 2005),
and could expose participants to threatening offenders, ‘especially if [sexting]
Journal of Crime and Justice 3
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involves activities that require social interaction’ (van Wilsem 2011, p. 117). Once
sent, the image is time and date stamped and can easily be saved on the recipient’s
cell phone or similar device (e.g., computer, iPad) indefinitely (Ling and Yttri 2005).
The image can then be forwarded to anyone of the recipient’s choice without the
permission of the sender (Wastler 2010). It is at this point in the world of electronic
communication where the sender can turn into a victim of harassment, bullying,
threats, and unwanted sexual advances (Barak 2005).
Results from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
and study (2008) further illustrate just how pervasive sharing sexual
messages and images intended only for respondents and their recipients can be. Of
young adults between 20 and 26, 23% shared a text containing suggestive messages
with others. Forty-two percent of young adults had a sexual message shared with
someone they had not intended. As for sexts received, 17% of young adults
forwarded them to others, and an astounding 32% of young adults reported that
they knew of having a sext they sent, but wanted to keep private, shared with
unsolicited individuals. Moreover, 25% of teen girls and 33% of teen boys have had
nude or semi-nude images originally intended for someone else shared with them.
Among young adults, these percentages are 24 and 40%, respectively.
Given that nearly half of you ng adults sext, the opportunity for victimization
increases when the sexts are no longer kept between the sender and the recipient. In
addition, the likelihood of repeat victimization also increases since forwarding sexted
images using digital technologies like cell phones is only limited by the number of
possible recipients with similar devices (Eraker 2010). The reliance on cell phones
and computers by a substantial portion of the population to facilitate social
connections wherever and whenever amplifies the probability that self-exploitative
behaviors like sexting (Walker and Moak 2010) could lead to cybervictimization,
such as harassment, bullying, threats and unwanted sexual attention.
While the sharing of sexually explicit images between two consenting parties may
seem ‘harmless on the surface, or perhaps even a form of foreplay or courtship, the
repercussions of engaging in these activit ies can lead to quite serious consequences.
Once an image is released into cyberspace, it cannot be retrieved, and the original
sender has no control over who views it, forwards it, or where it gets distributed.
As discussed above, minors engaging in sexting can face criminal penalties in many
states and more tragically, some senders have committed suicide after being the
brunt of teasing and harassment once the sexting goes viral.
In summary, regardless of one’s role as the sender or receiver, engaging in sexting
can be a potentially risky behavior that leads to negative social consequences.
The current state of the sexting literature, however, has not adequately addressed the
significance of a relationship between participating in sexting and these unfavorable
outcomes. Past studies tend to have a limited focus in that they mainly provide
descriptive statistics of this behavior or detail the legal ramifications of sexting in the
form of child pornography charges and related statutes. The reports that discuss
negative implications of sexting have almost exclusively highlighted speculations
based on news stories that sexting leads to adverse consequences ranging from
bullying to harassment to suicide; no published research to date has empirically
examined this relat ionship.
To fill this gap, our study tests the supposition that
a relationship between sexting and cybervictimization exists. We are not directly
testing theory in this study, but before proceeding to our exploratory analysis, it is
important to set forth the possible theoretical paradigms, particularly those from
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lifestyles and routine activities perspectives, that led us to contend that we would
find an empirically supported, posit ive relationship between sexting and
cybervictimization .
Theoretical background
The connection between lifestyles that expose individuals to risk and victimization is
well-established in the victimization literature (e.g., Hindelang et al. 1978, Jensen and
Brownfield 1986, Lauritsen et al. 1992, Fisher et al. 1998, Mustaine and Tewksbury
1998, Henson et al. 2010). However, studies examining online lifestyles, routine
activities, and cybervictimization are relatively few in number, and none has
considered the potential effects of sexting. The handful of studies that have explored
these relationships have generally supported the lifestyle-exposure theory premise
that increased exposure to risk results in a higher likelihood of victimization (Choi
2008, Bossler and Holt 2009, Holt and Bossler 2009, Henson et al. 2010, Marcum
et al. 2010, Reyns et al. 2011). For instance, Henson et al. (2010) examined the effects
of structured and unstructured routine activities (offline and online) of a sample of
Kentucky high school students on violent victimization. They reported that an
e-lifestyle characterized by time spent playing computer/video games, time spent in
online communities, and time spent surfing the web or checking email increased
risks for minor violent victimization among males. The study of Henson et al. also
supported findings reported in previous research that established a link between
delinquent lifestyles and victimization (Lauritsen et al. 1992)
Other work has focused principally on the effects of electronic and online
behaviors on online victimization risks. For example, Marcum et al. (2010) examined
three types of cybervictimization (receipt of sexually explicit materials, harassment,
and sexual solicitation) and identified risk factors for each type. Overall, the authors
reported that online behaviors that increased exposure to motivated offenders (time
spent online, different computer-mediated communi cation methods) and target
suitability (providing personal information to online contacts, communicating with
people met online) increased victimization risks for these three types of online
Similar to results reported by Marcum et al. (2010), Holt and Bossler (2009)
studied the effects of online lifestyles and routines on online harassment, and found
that certain methods of electronic communications (e.g., chatrooms) increased risks
for harassment online. Holt and Bossler also noted a strong link between deviant
online routines (e.g., hacking) and online victimization. This suggests that the
victim–offender overlap (Schreck et al. 2008), the connection between an individual’s
criminal behavior and their subsequent victimization, may carry over in some form
into the virtual world of cyberspace. This link is echoed in numerous studies of
offline victimization (Wolfgang 1958, Hindelang 1976, Jensen and Brownfield 1986,
Lauritsen et al. 1991, 1992, Schreck 1999, Henson et al. 2010) and is also supported
in the online victimization research (Choi 2008, Bossler and Holt 2009, Holt and
Bossler 2009, Reyns 2010a).
Even non-deviant online routines appear to have negative repercussions. For
example, researchers have found that more active users of social networking sites
(Ybarra and Mitchell 2008) and webcam users (see Arnold et al. 2009 as cited in van
Wilsem 2011) increased their risk for victimization, namely Internet sexual
harassment and solicitation and cyberstalking. Thus, the mere act of participating
Journal of Crime and Justice 5
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more frequently in digital routine activities (i.e., using computers, Internet, text
messaging, and email) magnifies the probability users will be harmed (Moore et al.
2010, van Wilsem 2011).
Whether sexting represents a form of deviant behavior is an open question, but
based on the above-reviewed literature, it is undeniable that it is an electronic or
online behavior that can potentially expose participants to motivated offenders.
From the perspective of the sender, once the message has been sent, it could generate
increased contact, potentiall y escalating into unwanted contact, with the intended
recipient. Once sent, the message can be transmitted readily to anyone with a
compatible device; anywhere, anytime, anyplace , spreading much like a rumor does
offline. The same technological features enabling a person to send sexts can also be
used to debase or victimize the sender, particularly when the message is forwarded to
unintended recipients who may be known or unknown to the sender. Consequently,
the probability that harassment and other forms of unwanted sexual attention could
be perpetrated against the original sexter by not only the intended recipient, but also
by the forwarded parties intensifies (Eraker 2010). On the other hand, those who
receive such messages may also be at risk for victimization. As noted above,
recipients may pass the message on to third parties, thereby becoming senders
themselves, and potentially opening themselves up to unwanted communications
from their recipients. Further, sext messages may be unsolicited or unwanted in the
first place, making the recipient a victim. In fact, recipients of sexts may be
experiencing a pattern of unwanted contact (e.g., cyberstalking) that could
potentially escalate into more serious crimes.
The lifestyle-exposure theory of Hindelang et al. (1978) seems imminently
applicable to explaining the possible connection between participating in sexting (as
a sender, receiver, or both) and victimization. The authors explained that ‘Variations
in lifestyle are associated with variations in the convenience, the desirability, and
vincibility of the person as a target for personal victimizations’ (Hindelang et al.
1978, p. 264). In this context, the exposure created by engaging in sexting is
hypothesized to increase participants’ risks for cybervictimization.
Given the possible consequences of sexting and theoretical foundations explored in
the preceding sections, the current study was designed to address two research
questions. First, what is the prevalence of sexting among college students? Second,
and most salient to our purposes, does participating in sexting increase one’s
likelihood of cybervictimization? College students are an ideal population to
examine to answer these questions because a large proportion of college students are
between 18 and 24 years old, and are a theoretically an ‘at-risk’ group for
participating in sexting. College students also have been identified as an at-risk group
for a variety of types of personal victimization (see Fisher et al. 1998), includi ng
electronic forms of victimization (e.g., harassment, threats), also termed cybervicti-
mization (Bossler and Holt 2010).
The data were collected during April and May in 2009 as part of a larger project
examining the online victimization among college students at a large urban
6 B.W. Reyns et al.
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university in the Midwest. The university registrar’s office provided a random sample
of all undergraduate students age 18–24 years old who were currently enrolled full-
time on the main campus during the 2009 spring term. Each selected student was sent
an email invitation and asked to participate in a self-report incident-based
victimization survey. The email invitations were sent directly from the university
registrar’s office in an effort to reassure the recipients that the request was legitimate.
Respondents were asked a variety of questions pertaining to their online and
electronic activities, demographics, online victimization experiences, and participa-
tion in sexting. In accordance with Dillman’s (2007) tailored design method,
multiple waves of invitations were sent at approximately two-week intervals, and
the invitation language was varied slightly in an attempt to increase the rate of
Anticipating a low response rate given the population under study and the
generally low rates of participation for web surveys, 10,000 students were randomly
selected and sent emai l invitations to participate in the study (Dillman et al. 2009). It
is not possible to determine how many of these 10,000 invitations were delivered,
received, opened, or read by the intended students, but based on these numbers a
conservative estimate of the response rate would be 13.1%. However, of those who
followed the link embedded in the initial email invitation and follow-up emails,
67.1% ultimately completed the survey. Additionally, 76.8% of those who began the
survey completed it. After cases containing substantial mis sing data were eliminated,
the final sample included 974 students and has the following characteristics:
39% male, 86% white, with a mean age of 20.2 years. The undergraduate student
population that the sample was drawn from was 51% male, 80% white, with a mean
age of 20.5 years.
Dependent variable
Cybervictimization. To analyze the relationship between sexting and victimization,
we considered four different types of interpersonal online victimization, hereafter
termed ‘cybervictimization.’ Respondents were asked if, while engaging in digital
activities, anyone had ever repeatedly (on two or more occasions)
used digital
technology to: (1) contact them after asking that person to stop; (2) harass them; (3)
send them unwanted sexual advances; or (4) threaten them with violence. Responses
to each of these four items were dichotomized (0 ¼ no, 1 ¼ yes). A cybervictimization
severity variable was then created using each of these items to indicate whether the
respondent experienced: no cybervictimization, one type of cybervictimization, two
types of cybervictimization (e.g., harassment and threat), or three or more types of
cybervictimization (e.g., harassment, threat, and unwanted sexual advances). By
creating a quadripartite dependent variable, respondents were able to specify more
than one type of cybervictimization experience. This measure allowed us to more
accurately assess the probability that sexting leads to adverse consequences for
subjects. Thus, we hypothesized that respondents who engaged in sexting would
experience repeat occurrence s of various types of cybervictimization. It is important
to note that this measure does not reflect all potential dimensions of
cybervictimization (e.g., hacking, identity theft, bullying), but instead is more
oriented toward different types of online harassment.
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Table 1. Descriptive statistics.
Mean (SD) Range N
Dependent variable
Cybervictimization 0.60 (0.84) 0–3 974
Independent variable
Sexting 0.38 (0.48) 0–1 974
Control variables
Low self-control 2.30 (0.52) 1–4 974
Gender 0.61 (0.48) 0–1 974
Age 0.37 (0.48) 0–1 974
Nonwhite 0.12 (0.33) 0–1 974
Non-single 0.57 (0.49) 0–1 974
Time online 3.93 (2.63) 1–16 974
Independent variable
Sexting. Lifetime experience with sexting was measured with two survey items. First,
respondents were asked if they had ever sent sexually explicit imag es to someone
online or through text messaging. Respondents were then asked if they had ever
received such images online or through text messaging. The answers to these two
items were dichotomized (0 ¼ no, 1 ¼ yes), and a composite measure was created to
capture overall participation in sexting. Sexting was measured with a two-item
composite measure in the bivariate and multivariate analyses for four reasons. First,
as explained above, disentangling these effects creates conceptual problems that
cannot be addressed in the current study. Unfortunately, the survey did not include
questions about whether recipients forwarded sexts they had received to other
parties, or whether the original messages were themselves wanted or unwanted.
As such, the effects of participating in sexting generally are considered as influences
on cybervictimization. Second, the two items are interrelated (Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.71),
and a composite measure is less likely to confound the analyses. Third, when these
two items were separately examined in crosstabs with the dependent variable; each
crosstab revealed very small cell sizes, which create estimation problems in
multivariate models (Agresti 2002). Fina lly, current research to date finds that
merely participating in digital activities, irrespective whether the individual is the
sender or receiver of information, increases risks for cybervictimization (see Arnold
et al. 2009 as cited in van Wilsem 2011; Ybarra and Mitchell 2008).
Control variables
Previous victimization research has consistently identified demographic character-
istics as important in accounting for personal victimization (e.g., Hindelang et al.
1978, Truman and Rand 2010), including online harass ment victimization (e.g., Holt
and Bossler 2009, Henson et al. 2010). Accordingly, gender (0 ¼ male, 1 ¼ female),
age (0 ¼ 18–21 years, 1 ¼ 22–24 years), race (0 ¼ white, 1 ¼ nonwhite), and current
romantic/dating relationship status (0 ¼ single, 1 ¼ non-single) were included as
control variables in the multivariate analysis. The descriptive statistics for these
variables are provided in Table 1.
In addition to the general categories of demographic variab les and consistent
with variables analyzed in previous studies, the effects of two behavioral
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characteristics were controlled for: low self-control and amount of time spent online.
First, according to Gottfredson and Hir schi (1990), a propensity toward low self-
control explains not only participation in crime, but other negative life experiences as
well (e.g., divorce, poor performance in school). Schreck (1999) extended this idea
and explained how low self-control also accounts for victimization. Theoretically
then, low self-control may explain not only why individuals are victimized in
cyberspace, but also explain any observed relationship between sextin g and
victimization. Therefore, to guard against spuriousness, low self-control was utilized
as a control variable in the current study. A scale was created using the four survey
items that reflect different dimensions of low self-control (i.e., being argumentative,
having trouble controlling one’s temper, being confrontational toward others, and
taking risks).
The Cronbach’s a for this scale is 0.55, which is somewhat low by
conventional standards for scale construction, and potentially limits the findings
surrounding the effects of low self-control. Since our primary interest is in testing the
relationship between the independent variable of sexting and the dependent variable
of cyber victimization, controlling for other factors, the low self-control measure,
while not ideal, is suitable for these purposes. Further, we are reasonably confident
that this scale can be treated as a conservative estimation of the effects of low self-
control on cybervictimization.
The second indicator of online behavior, amount of time spent online, is included
in the analysis as a measure of respondents’ electronic and online routine activities.
Theoretically, someone who spends more time utilizing digital technology for social
interactions is more likely to experience incidents of cybervictimization by being
exposed to a greater number of opportunities for potential victimization (Eraker
2010; Marcum et al. 2010; Reyns 2010b; Taylor et al. 2011). Respond ents were asked
how many hours per day they spent online, with the average respondent spending
nearly four hours per day engaged in online activities.
Analytic strategy
The statistical analysis involved three stages. First, the prevalence of sexting among
students was estimated by determining whether respondents sent or received sext
messages. Chi-square tests of independence were utilized to test whether certain
groups (e.g., males) were more likely to engage in sexting behaviors. Next, bivariate
relationships were examined by calculating point biserial correlation coefficients (r
and Phi coefficients (f) to estimate the strength and direction of these relationships.
Finally, the relationship between sexting and cybervictimization was estimated by
utilizing multinomial logistic regression. This statistical procedure is appropriate
when the dependent variable includes three or more categories and the independent
and control variables are either discrete or continuous variables. Resulting statistics
yielded estimates of the effects that sexting has on the odds of having experienced
one type, two types, or three or more types of cybervictimization compared to those
who did not report any experiences of cybervictimizat ion.
Prevalence of sexting and respondent characteristics
Similar to the results of the few national surveys conducted, 38% of the respondents
in the present study reported that they had either sent or received sexually explicit
Journal of Crime and Justice 9
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images electronically. Approximately 36% of participants reported receiving nude or
semi-nude pictures from someone electronically, whereas 20% indicated that they
had sent such images. Among males in the sample, 39% disclosed that they had
received sext messages, and 18% had sent sexts. Among females, these percentages
are 35 and 21%, respectively. There were no stat istically significant differences in
participation in sexting between males and females. Regarding race, 34% of whites
reported that they had received sexts, while 20% indicated that they had sent sexts.
Among nonwhites, these percentages are 54 and 21%, respectively. The difference
between the percentages of whites and nonwhites having received sext messages was
statistically significant: w
(1, N ¼ 974) ¼ 19.99, p 5 0.01.
In terms of age, of those respondents under 21 years, 34% received messages and
18% sent messages. Of those over 21 years, 41% reported receiving sexts and
23% sent sexts. Age differences in sending sext messages were statistically signifi cant:
(1, N ¼ 974) ¼ 5.00, p 5 0.02. Relationship status was also examined. Of those
students not in a relationship at the time of the survey, 34% reported they had
received a sext message at some point in their lives, and 16% had sent a sext. Among
non-singles, these percentages are 39 and 23%, respectively. Neither of these
differences between singles and non-singles was statistically significant. Finally, as to
respondents’ experiences with cybervictimization, 25.1% experienced only one type
of cybervictimzation. Fewer students, 11.5%, experienced two types of cybervi cti-
mization, and 4.2% experienced three or more types of cybervictimization.
Bivariate relationships
The bivariate relationships between sexting, the control variables and cybervictimi-
zation are presented in Table 2. Cybervictimization is positively and significantly
associated with five of the varia bles: sexting, low self-control, gender (female), non-
single, and time spent online. Each of these relationships are relatively weak, with the
exception of sexting (r
¼ 0.32) and gender (r
¼ 0.18), which can be characterized
as moderate and weak, respectively. Sexting is positively related to cybervictimiza-
tion, low self-control, age, nonwhite, and non-single, but with the exception of
victimization, these relationships are relatively weak. These bivariate results suggest
that participating in sexting may expose one to cybervictimization risks a
relationship that will be further explored in the multivariate analysis. Further,
individuals characterized as having low self-control, females, those involved in a
Table 2. Bivariate relationships between dependent, independent and control variables.
Variables 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Cybervictimization 1.00
2. Sexting 0.32** 1.00
3. Low self-control 0.13** 0.09** 1.00
4. Gender 0.18* 70.02 70.07* 1.00
5. Age 70.01 0.07* 0.01 0.01 1.00
6. Nonwhite 0.04 0.13** 0.01 0.01 0.01 1.00
7. Non-single 0.08** 0.06* 0.11** 0.22** 0.09** 70.05 1.00
8. Time online 0.06* 0.05 0.03 70.09** 0.01 0.14** 70.05 1.00
Note: Two types of correlation coefficients are reported because of differences in levels of measurement
across variables point biserial correlation coefficients (r
) and Phi coefficients (f).
*p 5 0.05, **p 5 0.01.
10 B.W. Reyns et al.
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relationship, and those who spend more time online may also face greater risks of
cybervictimization .
Sexting and cybervictimization
Based on the output from the multinomial regression analysis, our initial hyp othesis
was supported: controlling for beh avioral and demogra phic characteristics, engaging
in sexting increased the likelihood that respondents would experience cybervictimi-
zation (Table 3). Compared to those who did not sext, those who did increased their
odds of being victimized. For a sexter, the odds of being victimized by one type of
cyber offense were 2.2 times larger than the odds of a non-sexter for this category.
The odds increased substantially for additional types of cybervictimization for
sexters compared to non-sexters (Exp(B) ¼ 5.77, p 5 0.05 for two types of
cybervictimization ; Exp(B) ¼ 11.08, p 5 0.05 for three or more types of cybervicti-
mization). If the responden t was female, the odds of experiencing more than one type
of cybervictimization increased substantially in that compared to males, females
were 1.49 times more likely to experience one type of cybervictimization, 2.67 times
for two types, and 8.71 times for three or more types of cybervictimization. None of
the other demographic control variables contributed to the likelihood of respondents
encountering online victimizations. Further, only one of the behavioral variables
affected cybervictimization low self-control. Having low self-control significantly
and positively influenced the relative risks that respondents would experience two
or more types of cybervictimization by approximately two- to three-fold (e.g .,
Exp(B) ¼ 1.78, p 5 0.05 for two types of cybervictimizat ion; Exp(B) ¼ 2.73, p 5 0.05
for three types of cybervictimization). Time spent online, however, did not
contribute significantly to the odds of victimization. This finding is somewhat
surprising, particularly given the recent evidence to the contrary (see Wolak et al.
2006, Marcum et al. 2010).
We are at an age when technology has permeated almost every aspect of our daily
lives, directly influencing our attitudes and interactions. In the process, many
traditional behaviors are being performed in new ways. Without a doubt, one of the
major behaviors influenced by technology is communications. We are now able to
communicate with anyone, almost anywhere in the world, at any time. While
technological advances have been beneficial in many ways, these new means of
communication can have very negative consequences, such as new forms of
victimization. To that end, we attempted to explore the possible negative
consequences of technologically enhanced communications with the examination
of sexting and its possible association with cybervictimization. Our hypothesis that
engaging in sexting increases the probability of experiencing cybervictimization and
repeat occurrences of cybervictimization was supported by the data.
The current study found that just over 38% of college students sampled admitted
to either sending or receiving a sext message. While seemingly high, the percentage
of respondents acknowledging their participation in sexting is comparable to those
found in other studies utilizing similar populations. For example, in a study
performed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy
and (2008), it was reported that 33% of young adults, aged 20–26,
Journal of Crime and Justice 11
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Table 3. Multinomial logistic regression results predicting number of types of cybervictimization (N ¼ 974).
One type of cybervictimization Two types of cybervictimization
Three or more types of
B SE Exp(B) 95% CI B SE Exp(B) 95% CI B SE Exp(B) 95% CI
Sexting 0.80* 0.16 2.22 1.61–3.06 1.75* 0.23 5.77 3.67–9.06 2.40* 0.40 11.08 5.03–24.38
Control variables
Low self-control 0.27 0.15 1.31 0.97–1.77 0.58* 0.21 1.78 1.18–2.69 1.00* 0.32 2.73 1.45–5.17
Gender 0.40* 0.16 1.49 1.07–2.06 1.30* 0.26 2.67 2.16–6.12 2.16* 0.50 8.71 3.24–23.43
Age 70.11 0.16 0.89 0.64–1.22 70.11 0.22 0.88 0.57–1.38 70.43 0.36 0.65 0.32–1.32
Nonwhite 0.24 0.23 1.27 0.80–2.00 70.21 0.33 0.81 0.42–1.56 70.32 0.49 0.73 0.27–1.93
Non-single 0.05 0.16 1.05 0.76–1.44 0.10 0.23 1.10 0.69–1.75 0.08 0.37 1.09 0.52–2.27
Time online 0.01 0.03 1.01 0.95–1.07 0.06 0.04 1.06 0.98–1.14 0.09 0.05 1.10 0.98–1.23
Intercept 72.09* 0.40 74.91* 0.40 78.17* 1.02
Nagelkerke R
Model w
Note: Reference category is no cybervictimization.
*p 5 0.05.
12 B.W. Reyns et al.
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admitted to electronically sending nude or semi-nude images of themselves.
Interestingly, however, studies that examined samples of younger respondents (i.e.,
teenagers) have reported much lower percentages of individuals participating in
sexting behaviors. For instance, in a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in
2009, it was reported that 4% of their 12–17-year-old sample admitted to sending
sext messages, while 15% admitted to receiving them (Lenhart 2009). Similarly,
utilizing a sample of 11–18-year-olds, Hinduja and Patchin (2010) found that 12.9%
of their sample had received sext messages, while 7.7% had sent them.
The difference between the two age groups can be explained in a number of ways.
It may be that individuals have greater access to cell phones/devices as they get
older. Many parents oppose spending $300 or more on a cell phone for their 13-year-
old child, for instance. Or, the difference could be a function of sexual maturation.
Being sexually active is often directly related to age, with individuals becoming more
sexually active as they get older. Perhaps sexting is simply an act associated with
increased sexual experience and openness. Or, increased participation in sexting
could be a function of decreased guardianship. As individuals graduate from high
school, they often leave home to attend colle ge or start a career. Moving away from
parents decreases the chances they will see their children’s cell phones/devices and
detect any sexting actions. For now, the cause of the variation between age and
sexting behaviors is not entirely known. Further theoretically grounded research
is needed to both identify and explain additional predictors of sexting. Since our
study only captured college-aged students, future research should direct efforts
at surveying a wider age range of individuals to better assess this phenomenon.
Policy and program implications directed at reducing probable negative con-
sequences of sexting may be more responsive when age and maturity are taken into
In addition to examining the scope of sexting behaviors, the second pur pose of
this research was to explore the possible consequences of engaging in sexting. While
studies examining sexting in general are very limited, those attempting to
empirically analyze the potential consequences of such behavior are even rarer.
With the current study, we attempted to determine if participating in sexting, as
either a sender or receiver, increased one’s likelihood of cybervictimization. The
results of both bivariate and multivariate analyses indicated that sexting is
significantly associated with cybervictimization. Partic ipation in sexting greatly
increased the likelihood of experiencing various types of cybervictimization for all
respondents. Significant bivariate relationships were observed between two
demographic variables and victimization. Specifically, gender (i.e., being female)
and being non-single were associated with cybervictimization. Both of the
behavioral variables (i.e., low self-control and time spen t online) were also found
to positively influence the likelihoo d of experiencing cybervictimization at the
bivariate level. Results from the multivariate analysis revealed, however, that only
the control variables of gender and low self-control accounted for greater
cybervictimization risks. Female respondents and those with low self-control were
found to have a higher relat ive risk of experiencing cybervictimization. In fact,
females and those who sexted increased their respective relative risk of being
victimized not only by one type of cybervictimization but also multiple types of
cybervictimization . These findings provide empirical evidence for the argument that
sexting may have serious, unforeseen consequences that go beyond merely engaging
in sexting behaviors.
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Limitations and directions for future research
Realizing that the current study is a first step, ye t a necessary one, to provide a
valuable contribution to both the sexting and cybervictimization research literatures,
certain limitations should be noted. First, the study utilizes data drawn from a single
population of university students. As such, generalizability beyond this population
is limited. Second, the study sample over-represents female students. As it is
consistently found that females are more likely to experience victimization, the over-
representation of female students in the sample may have an influence on the
significance of gender for the relationship between sexting and cybervictimization.
Third, the data are cross-sectional. This makes it difficult to establish the temporal
ordering of sexti ng and cybervictimization. Fourth and relatedly, the combination of
a cross-sectional research design and lifetime measures of some of the independent
variables (e.g., sexting) raises the pos sibility of some potential temporal ordering
issues that may have confounded some of the relationships observed in the study.
Finally, the current study did not utilize the scale of Grasmick et al. (1993) for
measuring low self-control, and as such, the findings related to this theoretical
concept are potentially limited. However, since the variable did perform as
theoretically expected, it may be thought of as a conservative test of the effects of
low self-control on cybervictimization. Further, as Pratt and Cullen (2000, p. 952)
have pointed out, ‘self control’s effects are sufficiently robust that they are not
sensitive to different ways in which self-control is operationalized.’ Despite these
potential drawbacks, the current study suggests that there may be some important,
and as yet, relatively unexplored connections between electronic and online
behaviors and online interpersonal victimization. Future research should continue
to explore these relationships among other populations, ideally by utilizing panel
As previously mentioned, research examining the phenomenon of sexting is in
the infancy stage of its scholarly development. Being the first study of its kind to
examine the relationship between sexting and cybervictimization, and therefore in a
sense exploratory, the current study did not attempt to disentangle the effects of
sending and receiving sext messages separately. Inste ad, a compo site measure,
indicating a general participation in sexting (as sender, receiver, or both) was
utilized. Further, this study was not meant to test completely the propositions of
lifestyle-routine activities theory on cybervictimization. The theory was referred to
here because it provides a rationale for connections between sexting and
victimization. Further research will be needed to fully test a theoretical model that
includes sexting as a measure of exposure. Researchers should also examine other
types of victimization outside of those occurring in cyberworld (e.g. assaul t) that
might happen because of engaging in sexting. Empirical evidence, while still scant, is
beginning to support the contention that active users of technology are increasingly
more likely to experience both online and face-to-face victimizations (van Wilsem
Despite the aforementioned limitations, the goal of the current study was to
contribute to the small body of cybervictimization knowledge by generating
empirical evidence of relationships that have thus far gone overlooked. While this
work provides some answers, it also introduces even more questions, such as ‘why
14 B.W. Reyns et al.
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does sexting seem to increase with age?’ and ‘what role, if any, does guardianship
play in preventing sexting and possibly related incidents of cybervictimization?’
There is little doubt that sexting, and especially cybervictimization, will continue to
be an issue of growing importance among criminologists and victimologists. Thus, it
is certainly necessary that future research attempt to deconstruct and examine the
nexus of technology and victimization .
The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers, particularly Reviewer 2, for
their helpful suggestions during the review process. Addressing their comments improved the
quality of our article.
1. This study was administered by a company called TRU, and although this is a national-
level study and the results were weighted according to US Census estimates to reflect the
demographic composition of teens and young adults, the sample was not a probability
sample, and therefore the generalizability of the results is somewhat unclear. Further, the
sample was drawn from TRU’s pool of individuals who had volunteered to participate in
online surveys, and thus is biased to some extent.
2. A search of academic databases (e.g., Academic Search Complete, Lexis Nexis Academic)
using the keywords ‘sexting’ and ‘sext’ did not yield any results from peer-reviewed
3. Respondents were asked about repeated contacts to eliminate the reporting of isolated
incidents or encounters that may not constitute harassing behaviors.
4. Respondents considered the most appropriate response to the following four statements:
‘I consider myself to be a risk taker,’ ‘I consider myself to be argumentative,’ ‘I often
confront people when they make me upset,’ and ‘I have trouble controlling my temper.’
Respondents rated their agreement with these statements on a scale ranging from strongly
disagree (1) to strongly agree (4).
5. Point biserial correlation coefficients are appropriate for examining bivariate relationships
in which one of the variables is nominal and the other variable is continuous. Phi is used as
a bivariate measure of association in cases where both of the variables are nominal. In
both cases, the interpretation of the direction and strength of the relationship is the same
as the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (Pearson’s r ).
Notes on contributors
Bradford W. Reyns is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Weber
State University, and the book review editor for Security Journal. His research focuses on
victims of crime, particularly the intersection of technology and victimization, victimization
among adolescents and college students, victim decision making, and theories of victimization.
Reyns’ recent work has appeared in Criminal Justice and Behavior, Deviant Behavior, Journal
of Criminal Justice, Victims and Offenders, Violence and Victims, and Youth Violence and
Juvenile Justice.
Melissa W. Burek is an associate professor and graduate coordinator of the Criminal Justice
Program at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include structural
influences on crime (in particular, welfare and crime), corrections, substance use, and the
impact of the media and public policy on crime. Recent publications appear in Criminal
Justice Policy Review, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the Journal of Crime and Justice
and Melissa is co-author of Criminal Justice: The Essentials. She also serves as the President of
the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association.
Billy Henson is an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Shippensburg
University. His previous works have focused on cybercrime victimization, interpersonal
victimization, and policing, with studies appearing in Police Quarterly, Victims and Offenders,
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Violence and Victims, and Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice.
Journal of Crime and Justice 15
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He continues to perform research on violent, sexual, and repeat victimization, fear of crime,
and online victimization.
Bonnie S. Fisher is a professor in the School of Criminal Justice and a Fellow of the Graduate
School at the University of Cincinnati. She coedited with Professor Steven Lab the
Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention (Sage Publications, Inc). She coauthored
(with Professors Leah Daigle and Francis Cullen) Unsafe in the Ivory Tower: The Sexual
Victimization of College Women (Sage Publications, Inc). With Professor John J. Sloan, she
coauthored The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem (Cambridge
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Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Justice Quarterly, Journal of Quantitative Criminology,
Criminal Justice and Behavior, Deviant Behavior, Journal of Crime and Justice, and Victims and
Offenders. Her research interests focus on victimization but have expanded to recurrent
victimization, cybervictimization, cross-national analysis of violence against women, and the
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... Empirical research exploring the relationship between sexting and cybervictimization is well established, and several cross-sectional studies have identified a strong association between sexting and cybervictimization [24][25][26][27]. These findings are further supported by longitudinal research, which has found that adolescents who sent sexts are more vulnerable to cybervictimization the following year [5,6]. ...
Full-text available
With the increased ubiquity of digital technology, sexting behaviours, defined as the online sending, receiving, or disseminating of sexually explicit messages, images, or videos, have become increasingly frequent, particularly among young adults. While prior research found sexting behaviours to be associated with cyberbullying behaviours, the role of consent as part of this association has been largely unexplored. The current study investigates whether the relationship between sexting behaviours and cyberbullying perpetration might be explained by a subset of nonconsensual sexting behaviours, such as engagement in nonconsensual sext dissemination and sext-hassling. A large convenience sample of young Western cisgendered adults (n = 1688, M age = 23.15, SD = 3.23, 52.7% women) completed an anonymous online survey exploring harmful online behaviours (nonconsensual sext dissemination, sext-hassling, cyberbullying victimisation/perpetration). A hierarchical logistic regression was used to analyse predictive relationships between variables. The results showed no significant association between consensual sext-sending and cyberbullying perpetration in young adults. However, nonconsensual sexting behaviours, particularly sext-hassling and nonconsensual sext dissemination, were predictive of cyberbullying perpetration. Finally, cyberbullying victimization appeared to be the most strongly associated factor with cyberbullying perpetration. These findings suggest that future research and prevention efforts surrounding sexting and cyberbullying perpetration would benefit from a focus on consent and the bidirectional nature of cyberbullying behaviours.
... This phenomenon has drawn increasing social and scientific attention, and research shows that it is a common practice both in adolescent populations, with approximately 12% of minors engaging in sexting, and in young adult populations, with almost 50% of adults reporting sexting engagement (6). Sexting has been considered by some as a threshold for other forms of online victimization such as cyberbullying, online grooming or online sexual victimization (7)(8)(9)(10)(11)(12). Again, although there is a lack of consensus around its definition, online sexual victimization has been defined by some authors as "the experience of some of type of pressure through the Internet or mobile phones to obtain unwanted sexual contact or information (e.g., share sexual information, send images with sexual content, or do something against the victim's wishes) or/and the distribution or dissemination by the perpetrator of sexual images or sexual information of the victim against his/her will" (9). ...
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IntroductionIBSA has been defined as taking, distributing, and/or making threats to distribute, a sexual image without a person's consent, and up to date there is still limited research on IBSA perpetration and characteristics of IBSA perpetrators. Thus, the aim of this study was to identify characteristics of IBSA perpetrators, in order to guide future intervention and prevention programs.Methods An online survey was conducted regarding IBSA related behaviors and psychopathology. The original sample comprised 1,370 Spanish college students (74% females).ResultsThe IBSA perpetrator subsample comprised 284 participants (49.5% females). Our findings indicate that perpetrators are more commonly males, with higher psychopathology scores, especially in hostility scales, with previous IBSA victimization experiences, and who usually target friends, to have fun or as a joke, or partners, to flirt. Furthermore, when examining intragroup differences regarding perpetration level of severity, results showed that those who reported engaging in the most severe forms of IBSA reported higher rates of psychopathology and hostility. Yet, to intervene in those who present more severe behaviors, we must also pay attention to depression, somatization and sleep disturbances.ConclusionsIBSA perpetrators share key factors that could be targeted in forensic and clinical interventions, and that should be taken into account when designing effective offender intervention programs. Intervention programs should focus on anger-management issues that help reduce perpetrators' hostility and anxiety symptoms, and should also be aimed at modifying attitudes that justify perpetration behaviors and contribute to harmful interactions with their friends or to intimate partner violent dynamics.
... A recent meta-analysis found that across studies, 15 % of youths have sent a sext and 27 % have received one, with evidence of increasing prevalence (Madigan et al., 2018). Sexting has been associated with a variety of psychosocial outcomes that entail risk, making it a critical consideration in adolescent sexual health (Doyle et al., 2021;Gassó et al., 2019;Houck et al., 2014;Reyns et al., 2013;Rice et al., 2018;Titchen et al., 2019). A recent systematic review found that, across studies, sexting was associated with sexual victimization, peer relationship problems, feelings of shame and humiliation, and risky sexual behaviors (e.g., having sex without a condom or with multiple partners) among youths (Doyle et al., 2021). ...
Objective Sexual behavior presents risks, particularly among vulnerable groups such as adolescents with child welfare system involvement. This study compares the prevalence of sexual behaviors and victimization among adolescents in Los Angeles County with and without child welfare system involvement. It examines associations between online and offline sexual behaviors and victimization. Methods The sample included middle and high school students (N = 2365) and high school students only (N = 1068) participating in the 2015 Los Angeles Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Measures included child welfare system involvement with or without foster care placement, demographics (race, ethnicity, gender, age), in-person sexual behaviors (e.g., unsafe sex), online sexual behaviors (e.g., sent/received sext), and sexual victimization (forced sex, dating physical violence, dating sexual assault). Logistic regressions examined variability in sexual behaviors and victimization based on child welfare involvement, net of demographics. Path analyses associated online sexual behaviors with victimization and offline risk. Results Greater reported sexual behavior and victimization among foster care youths was found, relative to youths without child welfare system involvement (maximum OR = 9.8). Youth with child welfare system involvement but not placed in foster care reported more unsafe sex, sexting because of pressure, finding a sex partner online, having sex with a partner met online, and forced sex (maximum OR = 10.4). Sexting was associated with forced sex and dating sexual assault, finding a sexual partner online, and physical violence. Conclusions Targeted prevention is needed for online and offline sexual risks and victimization among youth with child welfare system involvement.
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Backgrounds: Given the negative consequences associated with sexting experiences, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers have called for more thorough research on sexting. Research on sexting behaviour has primarily used quantitative methods. In recent years, mixed methods research has gained prominence in the field of sexting. However, to date, no systematic review of mixed methods studies on sexting has been conducted. The purpose of this article is to review empirical mixed methods studies on sexting. Methods: A thematic synthesis of the qualitative data and a narrative review of the quantitative data were conducted in accordance with standardised templates by study design (PRISMA guidelines). Ten databases were searched and eleven peer-reviewed articles from 2014 to 2022 that met the inclusion criteria were identified. Results: Qualitative and quantitative results were organized into three themes: the nature and extent of sexting, motivation for sexting and the consequences and outcomes of sexting. This mixed-methods systematic review shows that sexting is widespread among youth, there are various reasons for involvement in it and it can have both positive and negative consequences. Conclusion: The results of this study may be helpful to both practitioners working with youth and policy makers to better understand the phenomenon of sexting.
Purpose This paper provides an argument to consider in more detail the development and application of technology in the context of sustainability. It argues the need to go beyond economic benefit and that timescale is significant. Design/methodology/approach This argument is based upon Socratic argument and focuses upon the historiography of technology with particular references to agricultural developments. It then proceeds to apply the same arguments to artificial intelligence (AI) and to climate change. Findings The findings are encompassed in the argument and show the need to be more open and careful when considering the development, and especially, the implementation of technology to address problems. Practical implications This argument has significant implications for the adoption of technological developments. Social implications The social implications are equally profound and will impact upon the application of technological solutions to current problems. Originality/value Such a historiographical approach to this problem has not previously been applied to this.
Information Technology (IT) has made rapid advancement since the turn of this century. Ergo the scope and extent of IT has also grown, resulting in increase in the number of internet users, who have differing reasons for using the IT resources. The users of this IT revolution include students worldwide; who interact with technology based on their needs, with relative ease and have found the whole experience enriching. Progress in IT has not only changed the way humans interact with technology but has also influenced the way of interaction between the people. The interaction online is mostly informal and comes without set guidelines and compounded with the relative anonymity provided by internet, also it has complicated an individual’s ability to interact in a respectful and responsible way. The problems relating to internet safety arise from such interactions. Flame wars and cyberbullying are some of the other risky behavioural interactions displayed online and can lead to severe consequences. The unethical use of IT resources in the form of plagiarism, piracy, identity theft etc also questions the moral of an individual. Whilst there may be some idea, multitude of issues regarding Netiquette and ethical use of IT resources are often poorly understood and the knowledge imparted is also fragmented. Moreover, contemporary educators are much in need of such information. Thus, there is a need to include and summarise current priority areas that relate to etiquette and ethics in digital education.
With society becoming increasingly digital, new opportunities are afforded to potential offenders to weaponize digital features and affordances to carry out their crimes. As a result, concerns persist over online forms of crime, particularly cybercrime involving sexual exploitation, and what can be done about them. Drawing on interview and focus group data collected from 70 sex crime investigators from police service organizations across Canada, we uncover police perspectives on online sex-based crime. We demonstrate that police perceive online crimes to not necessarily be new forms of crime, but rather altered by digital media in terms of methods and weapons being used. We focus on uncovering the features and affordances police identify as contributing to the increase in crime itself as well as the creation of greater opportunities for crime to occur. In addition, resulting from crime shifting into digital spaces, we uncover the challenges digital media has presented for police in terms of how they handle, respond to, and investigate online crime. We discuss these challenges and their impact on policing and provide solutions for combatting them moving forward. Overall, this article contributes to the current body of literature investigating online crime and policing in the digital age by drawing on the theoretical framework of affordances and offering police perspectives on online sex-based crimes.
Conference Paper
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The phenomenon called sexting, involves the virtual exchange of images or own sexual videos. It is associated with various problems, such as risky sexual behavior and cyberbullying. It is also considered as a regular virtual photo sharing between adolescents. Sexting is being investigated in young people due to the increase in exposure and the risks that this implies. But there are few studies in younger adolescents. Goals: to explore the performance of sexting in adolescents from Mendoza and the features of the phenomenon according to age, gender and sentimental state of the adolescents. Sample: 283 adolescents from 13 to 18 years old, students from public secondary schools. Results showed that the frequency of sending their own sexual photos or videos ranges between 25% and 38%. In the analysis by age, older adolescents (17 and 18 years old) review more frequently when sending their own photos or videos and the di- fference with the other age groups was significant. The same difference is recorded in the uploading of this material to the Internet. In the comparison by gender, women showed a higher percent in the action of sharing their own photos or videos and the difference with men was significant.
This chapter considers the contributions made by internet technology to the representation of popular music as heritage. The internet has become a key resource through which knowledge of popular music history and heritage can be acquired. Given the access which many individuals now have to internet technology, it has become a primary resource for personal, leisure-based research and an important tool for many engaged in professional forms of music research, for example, in academia and journalism. Similarly, through the various professional and amateur tutorials posted on YouTube, new possibilities for studying and learning how to play music associated with various artists who attract the heritage label have also increased exponentially, giving rise to a new range of performative possibilities for celebrating popular music heritage.
Howard Odum at his death in 1954 was working on the technicways, a concept comparable to Sumner’s folkways—addressed to the relation of technology to social change and social consensus. To Odum the essence of technicways is to be sought in terms of the transition required to give scientific techniques the sanctions of a system of norms. Technicways are the folkways of an age of science. The current neglect of this concept may be due to its embodiment in Odums theory of folk sociology and in its closeness to Ogburn’s social change which Odum apparently accepted. It is a paradox that today in a literate age of social change we have no records of the contemporary origin and development of folkways. This is explained when changing standards are related to scientific and engineering techniques. Another paradox demanding explanation is the incorporation of these techniques within the system of norms. Failure to understand the nature of the technicways leads to two popular fallacies: namely, (1) there exists a total breakdown of standards; (2) technology is in control of the social order. It is the contention of this paper that Howard Odum in the development of the concept technicways, has offered here a lead that takes up where Sumner’s folkways left the subject.
Howard Odum at his death in 1954 was working on the technicways, a concept comparable to Sumner's folkways—addressed to the relation of technology to social change and social consensus. To Odum the essence of technicways is to be sought in terms of the transition required to give scientific techniques the sanctions of a system of norms. Technicways are the folkways of an age of science. The current neglect of this concept may be due to its embodiment in Odum's theory of folk sociology and in its closeness to Ogburn's social change which Odum apparently accepted. It is a paradox that today in a literate age of social change we have no records of the contemporary origin and development of folkways. This is explained when changing standards are related to scientific and engineering techniques. Another paradox demanding explanation is the incorporation of these techniques within the system of norms. Failure to understand the nature of the technicways leads to two popular fallacies: namely, (1) there exists a total breakdown of standards; (2) technology is in control of the social order. It is the contention of this paper that Howard Odum in the development of the concept technicways, has offered here a lead that takes up where Sumner's folkways left the subject.