Article

Youth Sexting: Prevalence Rates, Driving Motivations, and the Deterrent Effect of Legal Consequences

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Abstract

This study investigated the prevalence of and motivations behind the exchange of sexually explicit text messages ("sexting") - including those with and without photographic images - among youth. Secondary aims included gauging youth awareness of potential legal and other negative consequences of sexting, and assessing the possible deterrent effect of anti-sexting legislation. Undergraduate students (N∈=∈175) recruited from a large Northeastern university completed an anonymous online survey concerning their engagement in sexting as minors. Consistent with hypotheses, more than half of respondents reported sexting as minors, although only 28 % sent photographic sexts. Respondents demonstrated a general lack of awareness regarding legal consequences of underage sexting, with knowledge of legal consequences having a modest deterrent effect. Respondents who, as minors, were aware of legal consequences of youth sexting were significantly less likely than their peers to engage in underage sexting. Survey respondents were divided on the issue of whether minors should be prosecuted for sexting, and generally advocated for rehabilitative over punitive sanctions. Policy implications and future directions are discussed.

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... De onderzoekers dragen hiermee bij aan het bestaande angst-discours rond sexting, wat ervoor heeft gezorgd dat het seksuele gedrag van jongeren is gemedicaliseerd (als zijnde 'ongezond' en 'risicogedrag'), ingeperkt (afgeraden, verboden) en gecriminaliseerd (soms zelfs als zijnde 'kinderporno') (zie voor analyses van deze trend Aggleton and Campbell 2000, boyd 2008, Karaian 2012, Robinson 2013, Salter, Crofts, and Lee 2013, Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo 2014, Burns 2015, Renold, Ringrose, and Egan 2015, Karaian 2015. ...
... Het sturen van een sexy selfie kan bijvoorbeeld een manier zijn om een "volwassen ik" neer te zetten 16 (Naezer 2018d). Tot slot kan sexting bijdragen aan het opbouwen van kennis over seksualiteit, in dit geval via eigen ervaring (Naezer, Rommes, and Jansen 2017 Naast positieve motivaties om aan sexting te doen, kan er ook sprake zijn van druk of dwang door de gesprekspartner (Ringrose et al. 2012, Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo 2014, Burkett 2015 . In het onderzoek van Strohmaier en collega's noemde slechts 1% van de respondenten "peer pressure" als reden om te sexten. ...
... Sexting gebeurt vaak in de context van romantische relaties (Mitchell et al. 2012, Burkett 2015, Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo 2014, Cox Communications 2009). Zo deden Strohmaier en collega's (2014) een kwantitatief onderzoek onder 175 Amerikaanse studenten. ...
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Het doel van dit onderzoek was om meer inzicht te krijgen in de beweegredenen van jongeren om zonder toestemming digitaal sexy materiaal van anderen te verspreiden. Een van de belangrijkste bevindingen is dat “De Pleger” niet bestaat: plegers hebben verschillende achtergronden en handelen op basis van uiteenlopende motieven. Evenmin bestaat er een prototype scenario, aangezien scenario’s van elkaar blijken te verschillen wat betreft context en motieven, materiaal, afgebeelde persoon, manier en schaal van verspreiding, en de gevolgen van de verspreiding. Een respondent die sexy materiaal van meiden deelde met zijn vrienden, deed dat vanuit een positief motief, namelijk zijn behoefte om de vriendschap te versterken: “sharing is caring”. Dat hij hierbij over het hoofd lijkt te zien dat de “care” dan vooral uitgaat naar zijn vrienden, ten koste van het afgebeelde meisje, hangt samen met de talrijke factoren die de ongewenste verspreiding van sexy materiaal in de hand werken. Die factoren zijn niet alleen persoonlijk en psychologisch van aard, maar zeer zeker ook cultureel: opvattingen rond naaktheid, seksualiteit, sexting, gender, etniciteit en schoonheid; praktijken van victim-blaming en slutshaming; en inadequaat optreden door zowel jongeren als volwassenen. Deze factoren zorgen ervoor dat de ongewenste verspreiding van digitaal sexy materiaal wordt aangemoedigd, goedgepraat, genormaliseerd en gebagatelliseerd, soms met grote gevolgen voor de betrokken slachtoffers. Als ons onderzoek één ding duidelijk maakt, is het wel dat de ongewenste verspreiding van sexy materiaal een gelaagd en complex fenomeen is, dat oplossingen op verschillende niveaus, vanuit verschillende invalshoeken en in verschillende vormen vereist. We hopen dat dit rapport een bijdrage kan leveren aan het vormgeven aan die oplossingen.
... Of the one-quarter of youth who responded to an open-ended question about the perceived consequences of sexting, 58% listed a serious consequence such as criminal charges or conviction. Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo (2014) also studied policy awareness for sexting behaviors. Like Stevenson et al. (2013), this study assessed a sample of young adults (18-to 22-year-old college students) for awareness of legal consequences of sexting as a minor; only about one-third of Strohmeier et al.'s sample knew that sexting could result in child pornography charges. ...
... Importantly, all of these behaviors could result in sex offense charges depending on the jurisdiction in which they occur. By contrast, Strohmaier et al. (2014) reported that more females reported sending photographic sexts than males in their sample. Most recently, Madigan, Ly, Rash, Van Ouytsel, and Temple's (2018) metaanalysis of 39 studies including over 100,000 youth under age 18 revealed average prevalence rates of 15% for sending sexts, 27% for receiving sexts, 12% for forwarding a sext without consent, and 8% for having a sext forwarded without consent. ...
... As Strassberg et al. (2013) noted, definitional issues might create difficulties in estimating prevalence rates. As an example, in the Strohmaier et al. (2014) study, sexting was defined as Bthe exchange of text messages that contained either wording or photographs that were sexual in nature^(p. 250). ...
Article
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Sex offender registration laws are widely implemented, increasingly restrictive, and intended to serve both specific and general deterrent functions. Most states have some form of policy mechanism to place adolescents on sex offender registries, yet it remains unclear whether adolescents possess the requisite policy awareness to be deterred from sexual offending. This study examined awareness of sex offender registration as a potential sanction and its cross-sectional association with engagement in several registrable sexual behaviors (sexting, indecent exposure, sexual solicitation, and forcible touching) in a community sample of 144 adolescents. Results revealed that many adolescents were unaware that these behaviors could result in sex offender registration. Moreover, over one-third of adolescents who incorrectly believed that youth cannot be registered were highly confident in their answers. Notably, nearly half the sample had engaged in at least one of the four registrable behaviors we assessed, and policy-aware youth were just as likely as others to have engaged in those registrable sexual behaviors. Our findings cast doubt on arguments that juvenile sex offender registration serves as a general deterrent, adding to a growing body of literature suggesting that the policy is ineffective and in need of reform.
... The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported in 2009 that 20% of teens had electronically sent sexually erotic images to another individual. More recent studies report that 28% of teens have sent sexually erotic images (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Temple & Choi, 2014). Examining criminal cases of teenage sexting, Wolak, Finkelhor, and Mitchell (2012) found that 78% involved the use of a cellular phone. ...
... In both countries, the changes resulted in juveniles being excluded from prosecution for SPCP images. As of July 2015, 20 American states had sexting-type laws 2 , with only nine (Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia) explicitly referencing sexting (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Hinduja & Patchin, 2015). Thus far, there are no federal laws in the United States specifically addressing sexting, revenge pornography 3 , or other forms of SPCP. ...
... While it is important that youth take responsibility for their offense (justice approach), it is also important that the underlying factors (welfare approach) that led to the offense are addressed. For youth engaging in SPCP, Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo (2014) found that pressure from peers and feeling a need to respond to solicitation are motivating factors for participating in sexting, while Martinez-Prather and Vandiver (2014) cited a means of flirting or soliciting sex as motivators. In the case of Justin Berry, Eichenwald (2005) noted that Berry had difficulties making friends at school and that his online clients served to provide an emotional support system that Berry was unable to acquire elsewhere. ...
Article
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Video recording technology advancements and accessibility has been paralleled by a growth in selfproduced child pornography (SPCP). Although social and judicial attention has been given to instances of teenage sexting, Internet-based forms of SPCP, such as webcam/website sex tourism, have almost been ignored. While some of the proposed legislation reform has referenced video-based SPCP, the majority has focused on SPCP distributed through cellular phones; excluding that which is manifested online or through entrepreneurial efforts. The purpose of this article is to introduce nonsexting SPCP, using the case study of Justin Berry (in the United States), and to propose a broad punishment, education, and counseling response from youth criminal justice systems (YCJS). Recommendations are meant as a starting point, framed with multiple YCJS structures, the duality of victim and perpetrator, the justice and welfare approaches to juvenile justice, and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in mind.
... Sexting, the phenomenon commonly defined as the sending, receiving, and forwarding of sexually explicit images within digital forms of communication, is a practice that has received heightened public attention (e.g., D'Antona, Kevorkian, & Russom, 2010;Diliberto & Mattey, 2009;Jacobs, 2010;Madigan, Ly, Rash, Van Ouytsel, & Temple, 2018;Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Taylor, 2009;Zirkel, 2009). Increased media attention over youth sexting has generated considerable amounts of concern from not only parents and guardians, but also from politicians, health practitioners, educators, and legislators worldwide (e.g., Houck et al., 2014;Korenis & Billick, 2014;Madigan et al., 2018;Peterson-Iyer, 2013;Strassberg, McKinnon, Sustaíta, & Rullo, 2013;Williams, 2011). ...
... In terms of its legal regulation, the legislative instrument most commonly invoked in reference to youth sexting is child pornography laws (Diliberto & Mattey, 2009;Gillespie, 2013;Judge, 2012;Mitchell, Finkelhor, Jones, & Wolak, 2012;Peterson-Iyer, 2013;Powell & Henry, 2014;Simpson, 2015;Slane, 2013;Strassberg et al., 2013;Strohmaier et al., 2014;Thomas & Cauffman, 2014;Wells, Finkelhor, Wolak, & Mitchell, 2007;Williams, 2011). Although the precise risks related to youth sexting are inconclusive, many scholars and legal advocates argue that child pornography laws disproportionately regulate youth sexting behaviors-namely that child pornography laws are irrationally severe, misguided in orientation, and unreasonably coarse in spite of the potential risks involved in youth sexting conventions (e.g., Breese-Vitelli, 2011;Crofts & Lee, 2013;Hasinoff, 2013;Karaian, 2012;Lee, Moak, & Walker, 2016;Peterson-Iyer, 2013;Powell & Henry, 2014;Simpson, 2015;Thomas & Cauffman, 2014;Williams, 2011). ...
... Sexting is generally interpreted as the sending, receiving, and forwarding of nude, semi-nude, or otherwise sexually explicit text messages, images, or videos via cell phone or other electronic devices (e.g., Ahern & Mechling, 2013;Judge, 2012;Lee et al., 2016;Madigan et al., 2018;Powell & Henry, 2014;Song, Song, & Lee, 2018;Strohmaier et al., 2014;Taylor, 2009;Weisskirch & Delevi, 2011). This broad definition is an amalgamation of the various working definitions found across the sexting literature. ...
Article
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Sexting, the phenomenon commonly defined as the sending, receiving, and forwarding of nude, semi-nude, or sexually explicit images within digital forms of communication, is a practice that has received heightened public attention. While many scholars consider consensual sexting to be innocuous and a normative part of development, the potential for youth engagement to result in instances of cyberbullying, revenge porn, and child pornography has ignited public fear and anxiety, resulting in a messy patchwork of legal responses that often yield disproportionately punitive responses. Upon exploring the legal parameters surrounding youth sexting in Canada, this paper will argue that while the logic of the current legislation in protecting youth from harm is appropriate, its method of implementation is misguided. The legal reform advocated here calls upon child pornography and online harm laws only when the case involves an adult perpetrator, and suggests a more nuanced, graduated juvenile scheme when the behavior involves youth sexting participants.
... Adolescents often initiate and maintain many types of relationships via texting, including dating and sexual relationships (Ito et al., 2009;Nesi, Widman, Choukas-Bradley, & Prinstein, 2016). Sexting is now commonplace during adolescence (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Temple et al., 2012) and has been the focus of increasing media attention across the world. Accordingly, research on sexting has burgeoned. ...
... Additionally, the potential risks of sexting may sometimes appear overstated relative to base rates. Of the adolescents who report sexting, the majority report no negative consequences (Strohmaier et al., 2014). Approximately 8% reported that it led to "humiliation/tarnished reputation," 5% reported getting in trouble with parents, 1% reported getting in trouble at school, 3% endorsed unwanted dissemination of shared photographs, and 0.6% reported being bullied as a result of sexting (Strohmaier et al., 2014;Thomas, 2009). ...
... Of the adolescents who report sexting, the majority report no negative consequences (Strohmaier et al., 2014). Approximately 8% reported that it led to "humiliation/tarnished reputation," 5% reported getting in trouble with parents, 1% reported getting in trouble at school, 3% endorsed unwanted dissemination of shared photographs, and 0.6% reported being bullied as a result of sexting (Strohmaier et al., 2014;Thomas, 2009). ...
Article
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Sexting is receiving substantial scholarly attention and is now considered commonplace in adolescence. Little is known, however, about the normative contexts and the development of adolescent sexting behavior, including the initiation of sexting in relation to other sexual behaviors. In this study, we used growth mixture modeling to identify classes of onset trajectories for sexual behaviors across high school. Participants included 429 high school students (54% female) who completed annual assessments of sexual behavior over a three year period. We identified four distinct classes: postponement (9%) with no behaviors other than hand-holding and kissing initiated by Grade 11, gradual onset (44%) with sexting and other sexual behaviors emerging incrementally across high school, continuous onset (32%) with sexting and other sexual behaviors within the first three years of high school, early onset (15%) with initiation of sexting and all other sexual behaviors prior to or by the end of Grade 9. Boys were more likely than girls to be members of the postponement versus gradual onset class, while Black students were more likely than White students to be members of the early versus gradual onset class. Sexting behavior appears to be common in adolescence and co-emerges with genital contact behavior across varying trajectories of sexual development. These findings provide the foundation for contextualizing sexting within normative sexual development. Further, this information can inform efforts to promote sexual health.
... Otro aspecto a la hora de determinar la frecuencia del sexting hace referencia al género de las personas que intercambian los sexts. Strohmaier et al. (2014) señalan que el número de mujeres que envían sexts llega a doblar el número de sexts enviados por los hombres. Los estudios realizados por Ogletree, Fancher y Gill (2014) y Gordon-Messer, Bauermeister, Grodzinski y Zimmerman (2013) señalan que las mujeres reciben menor número de mensajes, y Strassberg et al. (2014) indican que el 47,1% de los hombres afirman haber recibido sexts, mientras que entre las mujeres tan sólo han recibido el 32,1%. ...
... Varios estudios señalan que las relaciones basadas en el amor romántico o en la relación en pareja son realidades en las que este fenómeno se da con relativa frecuencia. Strassberg et al. (2014) y Strohmaier et al. (2014) revelan que la relación de pareja es el ámbito en el que más sexts se envían. Según un estudio realizado por la Delegación del Gobierno para la Violencia de Género de España (2013), el sexting es considerado como una declaración de amor y confianza hacia la pareja. ...
... O sexting é um fenómeno comum entre os jovens, registando-se uma prevalência de 1/5 até 1/3 (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014). Apesar de a prevalência do fenómeno de sexting ser elevada, a frequência é relativamente baixa, isto é, o sexting é praticado por muitas pessoas, mas estas pessoas fazem-no raramente (menos de vezes por mês). ...
... Em geral, os homens reportam expectativas positivas fortes, ao contrário das mulheres, que reportam expectativas mais negativas. As experiências sociais negativas associadas ao sexting são de frequência relativamente reduzida, mas o facto de a maioria dos jovens ter conhecimento de casos de pessoas que experienciaram efeitos negativos sugere consciência dos efeitos negativos por vezes associados ao sexting (Strohmaier et al., 2014). ...
Article
Este estudo foi desenvolvido com o objetivo de esclarecer as motivações subjacentes ao fenómeno de sexting, bem como aquelas associadas à subsequente publicação das fotografias, e de deter- minar a frequência e prevalência de comportamentos relativos ao envio e publicação em ambos os sexos. Foram recolhidos casos reais, disponíveis na internet, dos quais foram selecionadas informações relativas às motivações de ambas as partes. Numa segunda fase, 40 indivíduos res- ponderam a um questionário sobre a mesma questão. Os resultados indicam o flirt/demonstração de interesse sexual como a principal motivação de envio e a humilhação como o principal motivo de publicação, sendo os sexts maioritariamente enviados pelo sexo feminino e publicados pelo sexo masculino. O estudo resultou na conclusão de que o sexting é um fenómeno bastante frequente, nomeadamente entre jovens adultos (18 aos 2 anos), sendo fundamental o estudo das motivações associadas ao fenómeno para a sua compreensão.
... Soon after, Cox Communications (2009) and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children released survey results which found that 9% of young persons between 13 and 18 years had sent sexually suggestive text messages or emails with nude or nearly nude photos, while 17% had received such content. Since then, most sexting research has involved samples from particular middle or high schools (Rice et al., 2012(Rice et al., , 2014Strassberg, McKinnon, Sustaíta, & Rullo, 2013;Temple et al., 2012), at-risk youth (Houck et al., 2014), focus groups (Lippman & Campbell, 2014), or a combination of youth and young adults (e.g., Crimmins & Seigfried-Spellar, 2014;Delevi & Weisskirch, 2013;Hudson & Fetro, 2015;MTV-AP, 2009;Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014), limiting and sometimes muddying our understanding of the generalizable scope of sexting among minors (particularly relevant given the applicability of child pornography laws when any transmissions involve sexual images of those under the age of 18) (Crofts & Lee, 2013;Leary, 2009;Wastler, 2010;Zhang, 2010). ...
... The image is called a 'sext'." Some researchers include explicit text messages (without an image) in their operationalizations of sexting (Houck et al., 2014;Livingstone & Görzig, 2014;Rice et al., 2014;Strohmaier et al., 2014;Walrave, Heirman, & Hallam, 2014). There is a big difference, however, between sending a risqué text message and sending a sexually explicit image. ...
Article
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Sexting is the sending or receiving of sexually explicit or sexually suggestive images or video, usually via mobile devices. Despite widespread public concern about these behaviors as they occur among adolescents, including potentially serious legal consequences, relatively little research has been done to estimate the frequency of sexting among middle and high school students. The current study contributes to this scant body of knowledge by reporting prevalence rates for sending and receiving sexually explicit images or video among a nationally representative sample of 5593 American middle and high school students. Overall, approximately 13% of students reported that they had sent a sext, while 18.5% had received a sext. About one-third of those who sext had done it just one time. Rates of asking for, being asked for, and sharing of sexts are also presented, and are broken down further by gender, sexual orientation, race, and age. Implications for preventing sexting behaviors with these results in mind are also discussed.
... The over-arching theme of these instructional messages is as follows: if you sext, you will be caught, arrested, and labeled a sex offender. Not only is this outcome highly unlikely [26], research has shown that such instruction does not decrease sexting [18,27,28]. What is more, heavy-handed threats of serious long-term consequences for participation may even increase the possibility of harm. ...
Article
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Research shows that roughly 10-25% of American teens have participated in “sexting,” the sharing of sexually-explicit or sexually-suggestive images. When minors in the United States share nude images of themselves with others, they could be distributing child pornography. If these images are received from others and stored on personal devices, those individuals could be in possession of child pornography. Despite threats of prosecution, formal punishment, and fear-based messages from the media and many youth-serving adults, rates of sexting among children have continued to increase. As such, in this commentary we argue for a new paradigm: one in which youth are empowered with information, strategies, and tools to reduce risk and minimize harm when engaging in sexting. Mirroring the evolution of sex education from abstinence-only to a comprehensive curriculum emphasizing all aspects of sexual health and safety, we should understand and work with current realities at the intersection of technology and youth development. It is time to proactively teach safe sexting to teens so the most significant of consequences of participation may be minimized.
... For example, Patrick, Heywood, Pitts and Mitchell (2015) found that 10 percent of school students had sent 'a sexually explicit nude or nearly nude photo or video of someone else'. Similarly, in a 2014 survey with undergraduate psychology students, 11 percent reported that a sext had been sent on without their consent while they were under the age of 18 (Strohmaier, Murphy & DeMatteo 2014). Crofts, Lee, McGovern and Milivojevic's (2015) study found a slightly lower rate, with six percent of respondents reporting sending an image to another person without consent (although in this study 20% of young people reported that they had shown another person an image without the depicted person's consent). ...
Article
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Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) refers to the non-consensual creation, distribution or threatened distribution of nude or sexual images. This research examines the prevalence, nature and impacts of IBSA victimisation and perpetration in Australia. This form of abuse was found to be relatively common among respondents surveyed and to disproportionately affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, homosexual and bisexual people and young people. The nature of victimisation and perpetration was found to differ by gender, with males more likely to perpetrate IBSA, and females more likely to be victimised by a partner or ex-partner.
... Previous research indicates men are more likely to send and received sexts, sext with more partners, and may be more likely to share or forward a received sext than women (Bianchi, Morelli, Nappa, Baiocco, & Chirumbolo, 2016;Gordon-Messer, Bauermeister, Grodzinski, & Zimmerman, 2013;Strohmier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Van Ouytsel, Walrave, & Ponnet, 2019). This may be because women expect and experience more negative outcomes associated with sexting. ...
Article
Many adolescents and adults engage in sexting: the exchange of nude photos via cellular phones. Most sexting research focuses on associated health risks and negative outcomes (e.g., privacy breaches), with less examination of positive sexting outcomes and the role sexting plays in intimate relationships. In this study, we elicited participants' evaluations of their sexting outcomes. College students (N = 1265) completed the anonymous online survey about sexting. The acts of sending, receiving, and forwarding sexts were considered separately. Content analysis and group comparisons were used to analyze data. A substantial proportion of participants reported sending and/or receiving sexts. Participants described a variety of outcomes, both positive (e.g., relationship benefits, self-confidence) and negative (e.g., receipt of unwanted sexts, guilt). Participant religiosity, and the relationship between sender and receiver (e.g., committed relationship, online acquaintance), were among the factors that affected whether participants rated their sexting experiences as positive, neutral, or negative, and to perceived likelihood of future sexting. Sexting contributed to participants’ relationships and identities in both positive and negative ways. The results highlight how the context (e.g., cultural, relational, personal) of sexting is important for understanding perceived outcomes and future sexting behavior.
... Sexting has been understood as rooted in everyday practices, ranging from sexual desire, fl irtation and experimentation to boredom, pranks and jokes (Englander, 2012;Ringrose, Gill, Livingstone, & Harvey, 2012;Walker, Sanci, & Temple-Smith, 2013;Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Burkett, 2015;Charteris, Gregory, & Masters, 2018). Although these are all important aspects, we lack knowledge about how sexting, as a new media practice, intersects with other mundane uses of media. ...
Article
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Drawing on 17 qualitative interviews with women aged 18–22, this paper explores how sexting practices are related to views on and uses of pornography. While pornography was found to be an important reference point for participants in their sexting, sexted images were actively tailored to differentiate themselves from porn in three ways. First, private images were to be less explicit and more realistic in terms of content. Second, unlike pornography, which was seen as one-sided, sex- ting relied on reciprocity and intimacy. Third, participants were careful to explicitly state what they were consenting to when sexting and, although a few were turned on by coercive fantasies found in porn, they clearly demarcated such experiences from those they wanted in their sexting relationships. This paper examines women’s active engagement with pornography to extend our understanding of the relationship between sexting and mundane media use, specifically in this case pornography.
... Seksuele activiteiten van meiden en jongens worden anders beoordeeld: jonge mannen worden gezien als succesvol masculien in hun sexting gedrag, terwijl jonge vrouwen moreel gestraft worden voor het expliciete uitdragen/uitoefenen van hun seksualiteit (Hasinoff, 2013). Deze dubbele seksuele standaard leidt tot victim blaming, slutshaming, trauma en in sommige gevallen zelfs zelfmoord (Dunn, Gjelsvik, Pearlman & Clark, 2014;Hasinoff, 2013;Walker, Sanci & Temple-Smith, 2013;Strohmaier, Murphy & DeMatteo, 2014;Penhollow, Young & Nnaka, 2017). ...
Technical Report
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Shame sexting, sextortion and other forms of online sexual violence occurs frequently. Many youngsters have to cope with it. What determines the impact of online sexual violence? And what does one need after the experience? With these questions, we started this research. After a literature review, we conducted interviews with 4 experts in the field of online sexual violence and 8 victims. The victims were confronted with unwanted distribution of their nude photo/video or with sextortion with nude images.
... In relation to perpetration, prevalence rates of 0.7% (males) and 1.1% (females) have been found in a sample of 321, 17-to 22-year-olds, based on asking whether they had within the last 12 months, Shared a sexually suggestive image of your partner without permission (Reed, Tolman, & Ward, 2016). However, a higher rate of 26% was found in a similar aged sample, when asked whether they had ever Forwarded or shared a sext with good friend (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014). Based on this review of the literature, Walker and Sleath (2017) defined nonconsensual sharing as "the sharing of sexually explicit images (including photographs) and/or videos, without the consent of those depicted" (p. ...
Article
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This research was the first in the United Kingdom to examine the prevalence and nature of nonconsensual sharing of sexually explicit messages, pictures, and videos and to examine whether this varies according to gender and by role (i.e., perpetrator, victim, or as dual role of perpetrator/victim). In a sample of 391 young adults (aged 18-25 years), questionnaire data on subjective norms, consensual and nonconsensual sharing, and their motivations for these behaviors were collected. Perpetration of and victimization through nonconsensual sharing was experienced by a substantial number of individuals. There was an association between reporting perpetration of nonconsensual sharing and experiencing victimization. An association was also found between reporting being pressured (i.e., coerced) to send sexually explicit material and experiencing victimization of nonconsensual sharing, which suggests that these behaviors may form part of a continuum of violence and abuse, potentially within intimate relationships. No association was found between gender and (a) perpetration or (b) victimization. However, from a gendered perspective, females perceived there was greater social pressure to post messages, pictures, and videos, compared with males. Motivations for nonconsensual sharing were commonly explained as for fun/a joke, and generally not thought of as problematic, although some victims perceived motivations to be more negative and/or related to revenge/causing distress. Given that this research examined nonconsensual sharing across messages, pictures, and videos for both victimization and perpetration and found it was both perpetrated and experienced by females and males, this does not support the common perception that this is a male perpetrated behavior against women. This has implications for education, policy, intervention, and prevention, with approaches needing to be inclusive of both males and females when addressing perpetration and victimization.
... While it has been found that, typically, boys are more likely than girls to use the internet to satisfy their sexual interests (Peter & Valkenburg, 2011), gender differences in regards to sexting are less conclusive. In relation to gender differences amongst adults, two studies indicated that females were more likely to send a sext, noting that being female increased the odds of sending a nude or semi-nude picture or video by over five times (Reyns, Henson, & Fisher, 2014;Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014). In contrast, two studies found that males were more likely to participate in sexting behaviours (Delevi & Weisskirch, 2013;Garcia et al., 2016), while two studies found no gender differences in the participation of sexting behaviours (Burke Winkelman, Vail Smith, Brinkley, & Knox, 2014;Hudson & Fetro, 2015). ...
Article
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The objective of this study was to examine engagement in sexting by young adults in India and Australia, and depression, anxiety and stress as risk factors for sending sexts. A total of 298 young Australian adults (Mage = 19.98 years, 75.50% female) and 300 young Indian adults (Mage = 18.08 years, 56.33% female) completed a survey (online and hardcopy) assessing sending and receiving of sexts, and mental health. Australian males were more likely to have sent sexts than Indian males, whilst Australian females were more likely to have both sent and received sexts than Indian females. Indian males were more likely than Indian females to have sent and received sext messages. Higher levels of stress were associated with sending sexts for participants overall, and for Indian respondents, but not Australians when analysed separately. For males overall, higher levels of stress and lower levels of depression were associated with sending sexts, whilst for females, there were no associations with mental health variables, but higher age was associated with sending sexts. Sexting behaviours may be associated with cultural values and vary by gender in more traditional contexts. Further investigation into associations between psychological distress and the probability of sending a sext are warranted.
... Even though research has demonstrated that sexting can contribute to different dimensions of young people's sexual development (e.g. Burkett, 2015;Naezer, 2018b;Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014;Symons et al., 2018), there is also the risk of other people distributing the message without the original maker's consent. While consensual sexting can be considered as normal sexual behaviour that is an expression of sexual agency, exploration and expression (Naezer, 2018b;Symons et al., 2018), the non-consensual sharing of sexual materials is a form of sexual violence or abuse (DeKeseredy & Schwartz, 2016;Henry & Powell, 2016;McGlynn, Rackley, & Houghton, 2017;K. ...
Article
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Interventions aimed at preventing non-consensual sharing of digital sexual images among youth often focus on (potential) victims, who are discouraged from making and sharing such images. This approach is problematic, however: it limits young people’s sexual freedom, encourages victim-blaming in case of incidents, and makes perpetrators invisible. This article contributes to scholarship that shifts the focus to perpetrators, by investigating young people’s motives for distributing other people’s sexual images without their consent. Based on interviews with Dutch young perpetrators, victims and bystanders of non-consensual image sharing, we distinguish different scenarios of and motives for this type of sexual violence. The analysis demonstrates that non-consensual image sharing is a layered, heterogenous problem that is deeply embedded in present-day social norms regarding gender and sexuality. By disentangling the different scenarios of and motives for non-consensual image sharing as well as the gendered sexual norms and taboos that play a role, we hope to inspire the development of sex(ting)-positive, nuanced and diverse interventions for preventing this type of image-based abuse. More research is still needed, however, and in the conclusion we provide several directions for future research.
... Co se týče právního povědomí, tak 31,63 % dětí je toho názoru, že pořizování vlastních erotických fotografií/videí nemají osoby mladší 18 let nijak zakázáno, a 30,97 % si myslí, že je toto zakázáno pouze osobám mladším 15 let. Na základě zjištěného lze tak konstatovat, že více než polovina dětí nemá dostatečné právní povědomí o této problematice, čímž naše závěry korespondují s výzkumy ze zahraničí (Murray, 2018;Strohmaier, 2014). Tam také upozorňují na souvislost mezi neznalostí práva a prevalencí sextingu, což můžeme potvrdit, neboť děti, které si myslí, že je osobám mladším 18 let zákonem povoleno pořizování vlastních intimních materiálů, na kterých jsou částečně svlečeni či zcela nazí, vykazují větší ochotu k realizaci sextingu ve formě odesílání intimních materiálů než děti, které si to nemyslí. ...
Book
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The monograph takes a comprehensive look at the issue of sexting, one of the most potentially risky modern communication phenomena. The introductory chapter analyses the communication base of this phenomenon, i. e. psychological aspects of cyberspace communication, disinhibitory effect and other peculiarities contributing not only to the development of sexting, but also to other related risk communication phenomena which are subsequently brought into context with strategic educational and preventive documents. The following chapter, devoted to sexting, points out the terminological inactivity of this phenomenon, describes its prevalence, typology, motivation to realize and potential risks, which are demonstrated on specific cases from the Czech Republic and abroad. The chapters after that put sexting in context with other dangerous communication phenomena, such as commercial sexual abuse (focusing on child pornography), cybergrooming, webcam trolling, cyberbullying, cyberstalking. Space is devoted to grasp of sexting in the primary prevention system, which also offers possible strategies to address it (at the level of the child, parent and school) in case of risks associated with it, including legal analysis. The research part represents a logical result of theoretical considerations and summarizes the results of research survey which called - Sexting among Czech children which was conducted on a sample of 5 675 respondents aged 11 to 17 years. The aim was to map all three interconnected (sub) dimensions of sexting, i. e. receiving, sending and posting / sharing intimate materials in Czech children, and to prove their connection with selected variables. The final part of the monography summarizes in the Discussion the results of realized research and it compares the selected theoretical inputs and research results from the Czech Republic and abroad. And in the chapter of Possibilities of Minimizing the Origin and Impacts of Sexting, it outlines how to prevent risks of misuse of sexting materials and their subsequent uncontrolled spread.
... Among these students, 59% reported that being aware of the legal ramifications of sexting would have been a deterrent for them. 27 With documented declines in formal sex education across the United States, adolescents are left with few resources to navigate the increasingly grey area of sexual health and social ✦ Approximately 1 in 5 adolescents sext (exchange sexually explicit images and messages). ...
Article
Introduction A growing body of research has addressed adolescent use of mobile devices to exchange sexually explicit images and messages (sexting). Although there are legal consequences in some states for sexting among adolescents, research findings have also demonstrated associations between sexting and sexual activity. The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize research examining the association between adolescent sexting and sexual activity. Methods Five databases (CINAHL, Embase, Ovid MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Scopus) were searched for studies measuring adolescent sexting and sexual behaviors. Studies were appraised for quality using a modified Downs and Black scale. Studies reporting frequencies or odds ratios were eligible for inclusion in random effects meta‐analytic models. Results Of 669 articles retrieved, 9 studies met inclusion criteria for systematic review; of these, 6 were included in meta‐analysis. After pooling data from 9676 adolescents, the odds of reporting sexual activity were found to be 6.3 times higher (95% CI, 4.9‐8.1; Q = 14.3; I² = 65.1) for adolescents who sent sexts compared with those who did not. Discussion These data suggest that adolescents who send sexually explicit text messages are more likely to report sexual activity than adolescents who do not. Midwives are well poised to integrate a discussion of sexting into sexual and reproductive health counseling with adolescent and young adult patients.
... Given the heterogeneous nature of sexting, it is important to understand the different motivations that may underpin different sexting behaviors (Strohmaier et al., 2014;Bianchi et al., 2016). Sexting motivations related to sexual and social goals are more often listed, and experimental sexting sources are commonly considered (Drouin and Tobin, 2014;Walrave et al., 2015;Bianchi et al., 2016Bianchi et al., , 2017. Lee et al. (2016) suggest the most common reason to participate in sexting is related to peer pressure and coercion, specifically among girls. ...
Article
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Sexting has been defined as sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually explicit messages, images, or photos to others through digital platforms, and can assume more consensual or more abusive and violent forms. This study aims to explore the prevalence of abusive sexting in Portuguese adolescents and the psychological characteristics of sexting abusers in terms of emotional and behavioral problems, potential markers of psychopathy, childhood trauma and maltreatment, and different forms of aggression. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 4,281 participants, aged 12–20 years (2,264 girls and 2,017 boys), of whom 204 (4.8%) engaged in abusive sexting behaviors and 182 (4.3%) self-identified as being a non-consensual sexting victim. Abusive sexting was more common among boys and middle adolescents, and abusive sexting victims were more likely to be children of single-parent families. Engaging in abusive sexting and being a victim of abusive sexting were also related to behavioral and emotional problems, callousness, experiences of neglect and abuse in childhood, and various forms of aggression. Implications for future research and intervention are discussed.
... Findings of this study also have practical implications for online safety education. Prohibiting sexting or providing fear-based messages outlining the legal implications of sexting has proved not to be effective (Strohmaier, Murphy, & Dematteo, 2014). Importantly, findings of this study show that sexting may be playing an important role in the sexual development of LGBTQ adolescents. ...
Article
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Sexting has been identified as an emerging online phenomenon among adolescents. However, research investigating its behavioural correlates and the sexting behaviours (i.e., sending and/or receiving) is still scarce. The present study investigated the association between different sexting behaviours and various behavioural problems among Irish adolescents. A sample of 848 students aged 15–18 participated in the study (Mage = 16.4 years). A self-report measure assessing the sharing of sexual images among teenagers was created and administered for the purpose of this study. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire was adopted to detect emotional and behavioural problems. Findings showed that senders of sexts are more likely to be girls, whereas receivers are more likely to be boys. Two-way sexting (i.e., sending and receiving sexts) was more prominent among boys, LGBTQ adolescents, and positively associated with peer problems. Findings are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical relevance.
... Some advocate for a broader exemption to consensual youth SPSI making and exchange (Albury & Crawford, 2012;Angelides, 2013;Johnston, 2016), while others go further to suggest that even non-consensual sharing among minors should not fall under child pornography offenses, which should only be applied to adults exploiting children and youth (Karaian & Brady, 2020;Powell & Henry, 2014). On the other hand, others propose that potential legal consequences, and teaching youth about them, may be a deterrent (Strohmaier et al., 2014). In interviews, Dodge and Spencer (2018) found a similar view among Canadian police officers, who often believed criminal law is inappropriate to address youth SPSI, but nonetheless saw value in strongly discouraging the practice, including through the threat of criminal charges as a "scare tactic." ...
Article
The proliferation of youth self-produced sexual images (SPSI) raises complex practice challenges for professionals supporting victims of sexual abuse. This paper examines the views and perspectives about youth SPSI among professionals with expertise in child sexual abuse, who in the course of a study on child sexual abuse images, commonly raised SPSI without prompting. Eighty-four participants from three professional sectors (Internet child exploitation law enforcement, child protection, and children's mental health) took part in 12 focus groups, the analysis of which indicates that most participants regarded youth SPSI as a complex social phenomenon, and had trouble fitting it into their existing professional expertise. Participants were immersed in larger cultural narratives about youth sexual agency, the dangers of constantly evolving technology, and the digital age compounding generational differences. Lack of clarity about when and whether a young person requires support and/or legal intervention arose from a tangled web of punitive, permissive, and ambivalent perspectives on youth SPSI. Professionals experienced with victims of sexual abuse focused on SPSI as opposed to child abuse images, and struggled to distinguish between what is normal versus problematic youth sexuality in the digital age, confounding efforts to settle on appropriate legal and support responses and interventions.
... While most of this research has focused on consensual forms of sexting, some studies have also sought to investigate the prevalence of 'non-consensual sexting', where images are either taken or shared without consent. For example, Patrick et al. (2015) found that 10% of school students had sent 'a sexually explicit nude or nearly nude photo or video of someone else.' Similarly, in a 2014 survey with undergraduate psychology students, Strohmaier, Murphy, and DeMatteo (2014) found that 11% of participants reported that a sext had been sent on without their consent while they were deemed to be a minor (i.e. under the age of 18). ...
Article
Full-text available
Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) involves three key behaviors: the non-consensual taking or creation of nude or sexual images; the non-consensual sharing or distribution of nude or sexual images; and threats made to distribute nude or sexual images. IBSA is becoming increasingly criminalized internationally, representing an important and rapidly developing cybercrime issue. This paper presents findings of the first national online survey of self-reported lifetime IBSA perpetration in Australia (n = 4053), with a focus on the extent, nature, and predictors of perpetration. Overall, 11.1% (n = 411) of participants self-reported having engaged in some form of IBSA perpetration during their lifetime, with men significantly more likely to report IBSA perpetration than women. With regard to the nature of perpetration, participants reported targeting men and women at similar rates, and were more likely to report perpetrating against intimate partners or ex-partners, family members and friends than strangers or acquaintances. Logistic regression analyses identified that males, lesbian, gay or bisexual participants, participants with a self-reported disability, participants who accepted sexual image-based abuse myths, participants who engaged in or experienced sexual self-image behaviors, and participants who had a nude or sexual image of themselves taken, distributed, and/or threatened to be distributed without their consent were more likely to have engaged in some form of IBSA perpetration during their lifetime.
... Turing to other forms of cybercrimes, it recognized cyber stalking, sexting, online child sexual abuse, and cyber hate, which are prevalent in the cyberspace. As causes of cyber stalking is breakup of relationship, [62] and sexting are lack of awareness of legal consequences, [32,63] impressing and flirting with partner and peer pressure [64] ; coercion to woman by male counterparts in different way like 'persistent requests, anger, and threats' [65] and treat sexting as 'a joke'. [32] Then, online child sexual abuse constituted with three elements like cyberspace, possession and extortion. ...
Article
systematic literature review on causes of cybercrime victimization has been done for this study to explore the severity of cybercrime. While 111 articles from Scopus and ASSIA databases were thematically analyzed to find trajectories of factors of cybercrime. Cyberbullying are prevalent among various forms of cybercrime. It is evident that adolescents are most targeted victims of cybercrime. It observed attitude, low self control, psychopathic behaviors, bystander behavior, social inequality, more use of cell phone and Internet, and school delinquency as the main causes of cyberbullying. Particularly, older member of the society is responsible for online fraud. The causes of online fraud found vulnerability, greed, trust, naiveté, strong emotions, access to internet from home, lack of awareness, and chronic underreporting of cybercrime. In addition, software piracy, online harassment and computer hacking as cyber deviance caused due to availability of personal information in Social Networking Sites (SNS), socioeconomic, psychosocial, and geopolitical aspects, pornography, sexual promiscuity, minor daily stressors, living without parents and less active offline social life. Crypto market is a new form of cybercrime where criminals maintain a website to keep them anonymous for drugs dealing. Breakup of relationship and coercion to woman by male counterparts are the causal factors of cyber stalking and sexting respectively. However, follow up strategy, warning, sanction and educational programs were identified as prevention initiatives. Hence, this study is not beyond the limitation of empirical observations which will be the future research initiative to construct reporting mechanism of cybercrime.
... Turing to other forms of cybercrimes, it recognized cyber stalking, sexting, online child sexual abuse, and cyber hate, which are prevalent in the cyberspace. As causes of cyber stalking is breakup of relationship, [62] and sexting are lack of awareness of legal consequences, [32,63] impressing and flirting with partner and peer pressure [64] ; coercion to woman by male counterparts in different way like 'persistent requests, anger, and threats' [65] and treat sexting as 'a joke'. [32] Then, online child sexual abuse constituted with three elements like cyberspace, possession and extortion. ...
... Turing to other forms of cybercrimes, it recognized cyber stalking, sexting, online child sexual abuse, and cyber hate, which are prevalent in the cyberspace. As causes of cyber stalking is breakup of relationship, [62] and sexting are lack of awareness of legal consequences, [32,63] impressing and flirting with partner and peer pressure [64] ; coercion to woman by male counterparts in different way like 'persistent requests, anger, and threats' [65] and treat sexting as 'a joke'. [32] Then, online child sexual abuse constituted with three elements like cyberspace, possession and extortion. ...
Article
A systematic literature review on causes of cybercrime victimization has been done for this study to explore the severity of cybercrime. While 111 articles from Scopus and ASSIA databases were thematically analyzed to find trajectories of factors of cybercrime. Cyberbullying are prevalent among various forms of cybercrime. It is evident that adolescents are most targeted victims of cybercrime. It observed attitude, low self control, psychopathic behaviors, bystander behavior, social inequality, more use of cell phone and Internet, and school delinquency as the main causes of cyberbullying. Particularly, older member of the society is responsible for online fraud. The causes of online fraud found vulnerability, greed, trust, naiveté, strong emotions, access to internet from home, lack of awareness, and chronic underreporting of cybercrime. In addition, software piracy, online harassment and computer hacking as cyber deviance caused due to availability of personal information in Social Networking Sites (SNS), socioeconomic, psychosocial, and geopolitical aspects, pornography, sexual promiscuity, minor daily stressors, living without parents and less active offline social life. Crypto market is a new form of cybercrime where criminals maintain a website to keep them anonymous for drugs dealing. Breakup of relationship and coercion to woman by male counterparts are the causal factors of cyber stalking and sexting respectively. However, follow up strategy, warning, sanction and educational programs were identified as prevention initiatives. Hence, this study is not beyond the limitation of empirical observations which will be the future research initiative to construct reporting mechanism of cybercrime.
... Turing to other forms of cybercrimes, it recognized cyber stalking, sexting, online child sexual abuse, and cyber hate, which are prevalent in the cyberspace. As causes of cyber stalking is breakup of relationship, [62] and sexting are lack of awareness of legal consequences, [32,63] impressing and flirting with partner and peer pressure [64] ; coercion to woman by male counterparts in different way like 'persistent requests, anger, and threats' [65] and treat sexting as 'a joke'. [32] Then, online child sexual abuse constituted with three elements like cyberspace, possession and extortion. ...
... https://doi.org/10.26843/ae19828632v11n32018p290a305 295 efeitos negativos sugere consciência dos efeitos negativos por vezes associados ao sexting(STROHMAIER et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Este estudo foi desenvolvido com o objetivo de esclarecer as motivações subjacentes ao fenómeno de sexting, bem como aquelas associadas à subsequente publicação das fotografias, e de deter- minar a frequência e prevalência de comportamentos relativos ao envio e publicação em ambos os sexos. Foram recolhidos casos reais, disponíveis na internet, dos quais foram selecionadas informações relativas às motivações de ambas as partes. Numa segunda fase, 40 indivíduos responderam a um questionário sobre a mesma questão. Os resultados indicam o flirt/demonstração de interesse sexual como a principal motivação de envio e a humilhação como o principal motivo de publicação, sendo os sexts maioritariamente enviados pelo sexo feminino e publicados pelo sexo masculino. O estudo resultou na conclusão de que o sexting é um fenómeno bastante frequente, nomeadamente entre jovens adultos (18 aos 2 anos), sendo fundamental o estudo das motivações associadas ao fenómeno para a sua compreensão.
... These figures are lower compared to other countries such as Spain (33.5%; Villacampa, 2017); and the U.S.A (54%; Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014); suggesting that Ireland may be lower than the international average rates for the sharing of sexual images. ...
Article
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Yellow is a social networking application for adolescents aged 13 and over. It has raised concerns with parents and educators because of its potential to link and create friendships with strangers. The current study involved a content analysis of 298 Yellow profiles to determine the age and gender of Yellow users, their sharing of personal information or images and their emoji use. Findings indicated privacy concerns such as high sharing of content through secondary profiles (i.e. linked Instagram accounts). Little evidence of a sexual nature was found and Emoji use was common and of a sexual nature in approximately half of the sample. Results are discussed in light of previous Irish research and recommendations for future studies are provided.
... Some research has suggested that patterns of participation in sexting may differ depending on the type of relationship between the partners (e.g., whether they are in a committed romantic relationship versus whether they are strangers) [19]. Moreover, in studies that do include the relationship context of people's sexting experiences, researchers consistently find that the majority of people engage in sexting only with a committed romantic partner [1,19,[62][63][64][65]. Furthermore, most researchers do not address the consent context of peoples' sexting experiences. ...
Article
Despite over 10 years of research, we still know very little about people’s sexting behaviours and experiences. Our limited and, at times, conflicting knowledge about sexting is due to re-searchers’ use of inconsistent conceptual definitions of sexting, dubious measurement practices, and atheoretical research designs. In this article, we provide an overview of the history of sex-ting research and describe how researchers have contributed to the ‘moral panic’ narrative that continues to surround popular media discourse about sexting. We identify four key problems that still plague sexting research today: (1) imprudent focus on the medium, (2) inconsistent conceptual definitions, (3) poor measurement practices, and (4) a lack of theoretical frameworks. We describe and expand on solutions to address each of these problems. In particular, we focus on the need to shift empirical attention away from sexting and towards the behavioural domain of technology-mediated sexual interaction. We believe that the implementation of these solu-tions will lead to valid and sustainable knowledge development on technology-mediated sexual interactions, including sexting.
... Awareness of the potential legal and other negative consequences of sexting can influence the prevalence and motivation for sexting. According to the study by Strohmaier et al. (89) young people who, as minors, are aware of the legal consequences of sexting are significantly less likely to engage in sexting than their peers. ...
Article
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Objective − The aim of this paper was to collect and summarize findings regarding the factors associated with sexting experiences and their correlates, under Bronfenbrenner's socio-ecological theory. Methods − We reviewed the literature in the field of sexting to show how numerous factors that have been found to influence sexting behaviour can be included within a social-ecological framework. Electronic literature searches were conducted between May and June 2021 in the following databases: EbscoHOST (PsycINFO, PSychArticles), ERIC, Google Scholar, ResearchGate, ScienceDirect, SCOPUS, and Web of Science. Conclusion − This model seems to be a good framework for systematizing the results of research in this area, and can be used as a guide for future research on sexting. We encourage researchers to expand or redefine the proposed determinants of sexting in a theoretically more satisfactory way, as well as to explore it empirically. To help youth avoid the negative consequences of engaging in potentially harmful sexting behaviours, the multiple systems that surround young people should work together to provide young people with the skills necessary to make good choices about their sexual behaviours.
... On the other hand, some police unit personnel view potential legal consequences as having a deterrent effect, discouraging youth from engaging in both consensual and non-consensual image sharing (Dodge & Spencer, 2018). Youth, however, advocate for rehabilitative over punitive sanctions (Strohmaier, Murphy, & DeMatteo, 2014). In sum, these challenges shed light on the complexities of legally dealing with this relatively new type of crime and on how to view developmentally normal sexual activities between peers. ...
Thesis
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Internet communication technology has created new ways for adults to sexually abuse children, and as the world becomes more and more digitalized and children are increasingly connected, reports about online child sexual abuse are increasing. The aim of this thesis was to broaden the thus far limited knowledge about technology-assisted child sexual abuse (TA-CSA) and its consequences by using mixed methods to analyze cases (Study I: N = 122, Study II: N = 98) from Swedish courts (children aged 7–17, offenders aged 16–69), and by performing in-depth interviews with victims of TA-CSA (Study III: N = 7, aged 7–13 at the first occasion of TA-CSA, aged 17–24 at the time of the interview). Study I investigated which strategies online offenders used to incite children to engage in online sexual activity, identifying the use of (i) pressure and (ii) sweet talk. In contrast to previous research describing the use of pressure as an exception, the findings add support to the claim that there is substantially more pressure and coercion in online offenders’ interactions with actual children (compared to decoys). Study II examined how the experiences and psychological health of the children were described in the court documents, and which kinds of sexual activities the children were incited to perform online. The results show that some children experienced the abuse as threatening and distressing, and felt that they had no choice but to perform the sexual acts demanded by the offender. The study further revealed a wide range of sexual acts that the children were incited to perform, some of which were of an extremely violating nature. The court documents described several potential vulnerability factors and psychological consequences among the children, which are similar to those shown in research investigating offline child sexual abuse. The aim of Study III was to gain a first-person perspective on the experiences of TA-CSA, and a deeper understanding of how it may affect its victims. The interviews revealed that the victimization had profoundly affected the individuals’ lives, health, and self-concepts in the short term and the long term. The study highlighted the sometimes long and complex process of understanding the severity of one’s experiences, the extensive self-blame, and the anxiety caused by living with the constant fear of pictures from the abuse resurfacing. In sum, this thesis emphasizes that TA-CSA can be a serious crime with potentially severe consequences for its victims. In light of this, it is suggested that TA-CSA should not be viewed as essentially different from, or less severe than, offline CSA.
... This percentage was significantly higher for men than for women. Strohmaier et al. (2014) found that 11% of university students reported a sext they had sent as minors had been shared with others or forwarded by the recipient to someone else. Patrick et al. (2015) found that 10% of adolescents had sent a nearly nude or sexually explicit nude image of someone else. ...
Article
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Introduction. The aim of this study was to develop a new measure of victimization and perpetration of two frequent forms of image-based sexual abuse, namely, sextortion (i.e., threat of distributing sexual images to pressure the victim into doing something) and nonconsensual sexting (i.e., distributing sexual images of someone without consent of the victim). Additional aims were to analyze the prevalence of these forms of victimization and perpetration, and to examine their temporal stability over a one-year period. Methods. The sample was made up of 1,820 Spanish adolescents (mean age = 13.38, SD = 1.42; 929 girls, 878 boys, 3 nonbinary, and 10 did not indicate gender) who completed self-report instruments on image-based sexual abuse and related variables (e.g. cyberbullying victimization). Results. Confirmatory factor analysis supported a structure composed of the four hypothesized factors: sextortion victimization and perpetration, and nonconsensual sexting victimization and perpetration. Higher sexting, cyberbullying victimization, and symptoms of depression and anxiety had stronger associations with image-based sexual victimization than with perpetration, which showed evidence of concurrent validity. Prevalence was 2.6% and 0.7% for sextortion victimization and perpetration, respectively, and 3.4% and 4.9% for nonconsensual sexting victimization and perpetration, respectively. Temporal stability over 1 year was .26 for sextortion victimization, .19 for nonconsensual sexting victimization, .33 for nonconsensual sexting perpetration (all ps < .001), and nonsignificant for sextortion perpetration. The stability of nonconsensual sexting victimization was significantly higher for girls compared to boys, whereas nonconsensual sexting perpetration was more stable over one year for boys. Conclusions. Future studies must advance the analysis of the predictors and consequences of image-based sexual abuse among adolescents to better prevent this problem. Prevalence of sextortion and nonconsensual sexting is not negligible, and these problems should be particularly addressed in prevention programs.
... Considering the heterogeneous nature of sexting, scholars have acknowledged the need for in-depth research into sexting motivations in order to improve the distinction between aggravated and experimental sexting behaviors (Bianchi et al. 2016;Bianchi et al. 2017;Cooper et al. 2016). Recent studies have suggested that different motivations may underlie different sexting behaviors (Bianchi et al. 2016;Levine 2013;Strohmaier et al. 2014), and the literature on this topic has rapidly increased in recent years. ...
Article
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Sexting is the exchange of sexually suggestive contents via Internet, Smartphone, and Social Networking Websites. Recently, the research on sexting motivations increased in order to distinguish between experimental and aggravated sexting. This study investigated individual correlates of three sexting motivations: sexual purposes, instrumental/aggravated reasons, and body image reinforcement. The study involved 488 adolescents and young adults aged from 14 to 30 years. Sexual purposes and body image reinforcement were the most commonly reported motivations for sexting. Boys reported more instrumental/aggravated reasons, and sexual minorities reported more sexual purposes and body image reinforcement. Sexual purposes increased with age, while body image reinforcement showed a quadratic trend, increasing from adolescence to early young adulthood, and decreasing from early to late young adulthood. Finally, participants who have already had first sex reported more sexual purposes. Research, clinical and educational implications are discussed.
Article
This research presents an exploratory study of how individuals use emoji, specifically in sexually suggestive contexts. Emoji are small images that depict emotions, concepts, or items that are used in computer-mediated communication in order to add context, emotion, and personality to messages. The dataset consists of 693 participants recruited via online social networks and forums. Results indicate that the use of emoji play a significant role in the sending and receiving of sexually suggestive messages; of individuals who have sent these messages, 51% report that the use of emoji led to the sexually suggestive behaviour and 54% report that emoji appear in their messages sometimes, often, or always. The three most common object emoji last sent and received in a sexually suggestive message are the tongue (), the eggplant (), and the sweat droplets (), while the three most common face emoji last sent and received in this context are the smirking face (), the winking face (), and the blowing a kiss face (). Additionally, this study demonstrates that extraversion and number of casual sexual partners is significantly related to the use of sexually suggestive emoji, as both extraversion and numbers of casual sexual partners account for 5.9% of the shared variance in the use of sexual emoji. This research provides empirical information that may be used to guide future research into the use of emoji in computer-mediated communication.
Article
To date, the majority of the research on sexting is descriptive; yet, there is an emergence of scholarship on the correlates to and consequences of sexting. While etiological underpinnings have yet to be fully conceptualized, The Developmental Vulnerability Theory may be used to explain sexting behavior and other non-sexual violent behavior including dating violence. The DVT posits that early victimization results in vulnerabilities, disinhibiting influences, and conditioning experiences can manifest over time to create propensities for sexual and non-sexual violence. As technological advancements have been made, there are new disinhibiting factors to consider, and, cell phones equipped with the ability to send and receive messages not only provide opportunities for youth to socially interact in a disinhibited manner, but they may exacerbate existing emotional disinhibition for youth with adverse relational histories and resulting vulnerable emotional states. This may contribute to emotional disinhibitions that drive sexting behaviors. Using data on adjudicated youth in a western state (N = 200), this study examined the prevalence rates of sexting, tested associations between developmental adversities, emotional motivations for sexting, and relationship context; and determined the relationship between sexting and dating violence perpetration. Results revealed a range of high and low sexting rates (21% to 73.5%). Early life domestic adversity and physical abuse was associated with more frequent sexting outside of dating relationships (friends and acquaintances). Emotional motivations for sexting was associated more frequent sexting outside of dating relationships. In the final multivariate model, emotional motivations and sexting friends and acquaintances was associated with dating violence. Treatment, policy, and research implications are discussed.
Article
This study evaluated 190 adolescent–parent dyads from two US sites (CA and TX) about their awareness of and attitudes toward adolescent sexting and age of sexual consent policies. Findings indicate (a) poor policy awareness among adolescents and parents, particularly for the Texas sample, (b) positive associations between parent and adolescent awareness, (c) site differences in fairness ratings, and (d) a negative association between adolescents’ fairness ratings and their willingness to violate the policies. We recommend greater efforts toward policy education, given the lack of awareness in the present sample, and consideration for the developmental appropriateness of policies.
Article
This paper explores a form of digital communication among young people that arises with the cheapening of digital technologies and the emergence of the Internet: sexting. Based on a qualitative methodology and a gender theoretical approach, it explores the forms of experience and significance of this practice in young people aged 15 to 19, from two Mexican cities. It is concluded that sexting must be understood as a collective practice, not individual, inserted in a framework of gender relations and, therefore, power relations. It seeks to contribute to the understanding of a new and scarcely studied communicative phenomenon in Mexico.
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Sexting is the sharing of sexually explicit images, videos, and/or messages via electronic devices. Prevalence estimates of sexting have varied substantially, potentially due to broad age ranges being examined. The current study sought to synthesize relevant findings examining the prevalence of consensual and non-consensual sexting in a specific developmental period, emerging adulthood (≥ 18–< 29), to try to explain discrepancies in the literature. Searches were conducted in electronic databases for articles published up to April 2018. Relevant data from 50 studies with 18,122 emerging adults were extracted. The prevalence of sexting behaviors were: sending 38.3% (k = 41; CI 32.0–44.6), receiving 41.5% (k = 19; CI 31.9–51.2), and reciprocal sexting 47.7% (k = 16; CI 37.6–57.8). Thus, sexting is a common behavior among emerging adults. The prevalence of non-consensual forwarding of sexts was also frequent in emerging adults at 15.0% (k = 7; CI 6.9–23.2). Educational awareness initiatives on digital citizenship and psychological consequences of the non-consensual forwarding of sexts should be targeted to youth and emerging adults with the hopes of mitigating this potentially damaging and illegal behavior.
Article
The primary aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the prevalence of technology-facilitated sexual violence (TFSV) within the adolescent and adult population regarding victimization and perpetration. In addition to the primary aim, associated health outcomes with TFSV were discussed through a qualitative lens. Specific forms of TFSV that were examined include distribution of, production of, and threats to distribute sexual material involving another individual without that person's consent via images or videos; 425 articles from MEDLINE, PsycArticles, PsycINFO, Criminal Justice Abstracts, ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, and Google Scholar were screened. Nineteen articles (comprising 20 independent samples) reporting prevalence rates of TFSV on 32,247 participants were included in this random-effects meta-analysis. Pooled prevalence of victimization results revealed that 8.8% of people have had their image or video-based sexts shared without consent, 7.2% have been threatened with sext distribution, and 17.6% have had their image taken without permission. Regarding perpetration, 12% have shared sexts beyond the intended recipient, 2.7% have threatened to share sexts, and 8.9% have nonconsensually taken an image. Moderator variables included publication year, mean participant age, proportion of female participants, and study setting, with meta-regression analyses revealing no significant predictors. Finally, a qualitative analysis of nine articles (n = 3,990) was conducted to assess mental health associations with TFSV victimization, revealing significant mental health impacts, including anxiety, depression, and poor coping, for victims.
Chapter
Contemporary young adults differ from those of previous generations in their heavy engagement with screen media, including increasingly sophisticated video gaming and social media. This change in lifestyle has significant implications for their mental health and its treatment, for good and ill. Young adults typically prioritize screen media habits, thus displacing risky behavior such as recreational drug and alcohol use, sexual intercourse, and violence. Yet this also displaces healthy habits including adequate sleep, reading books, and in-person socializing. Some young adults develop an impairing but treatable behavioral addiction to gaming and other screen media, although names and definitions regarding the phenomenon vary greatly. Digital media behaviors interact with depression, anxiety, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders in distinct manners which must be assessed and addressed in treatment. Psychiatrists should incorporate aspects of digital media habits and experiences into their assessments and formulations of young adult patients, adapting practice to the highly digitized lives of this generation.
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The common occurrence of trauma-related mental illnesses in transitional age youth (TAY) deserves special focus both in terms of context and treatment options. This chapter will discuss the prevalence and consequences of trauma in TAY, which can range from brief acute reactions to chronic disabling conditions. Considerations for psychotherapeutic and pharmacological interventions for this age group will be discussed. Treatments generally involve psychotherapy, and there are a number of evidence-based ones to choose from, though most originated for use with adolescents or adults. Further research is needed to determine adaptability for TAY. Pharmacologic options can support patients through symptom targeting and remission, particularly in combination with psychotherapy. Finally, special considerations and challenges in trauma intervention with this age group will be discussed.
Article
Introduction To explore and understand the relationship between sexting behavior and adolescent mental health and well-being. Method A constructivist grounded theory study was conducted. Seventeen 18–22-year-old participants provided recollective and reflective accounts of sexting experiences throughout their adolescence. Results Engaging in the Culture of Teen Sexting materialized as the central process and title for the grounded theory that emerged. Six primary processes included Engaging in the Culture of Teen Sexting, Identifying Motivating Factors, Forming Perceptions and Feelings, Acknowledging and Managing Risks, Connecting Mental Health and Sexting, and Finding a Sexual Self. Discussion The findings suggested sexting is part of teen culture and normal adolescent sexual growth and development. Acknowledging sexting as a culture and normal part of sexual growth and development will assist pediatric nurse practitioners in engaging teens in conversations about sexting, helping them to navigate the risks of sexting and find healthy ways to manage sexting behavior.
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Oz. Sürekli ve hızlı bir şekilde gelişmekte olan dijital çağ teknolojilerinin etkileri aynı paralelde insan yaşamının her anında ve her alanında yer almaya devam etmektedir. Bu gelişmeler ise yeni kavramları beraberinde getirmektedir. Özellikle genç yetişkinlerin romantik ilişki yaşantılarında ve cinsel yaşamlarında "sexting" adı verilen, çeşitli teknolojik cihazlar ve çevirim içi ortamları kullanarak birbirleriyle cinsel içerikli yazışmalar yapma veya birbirlerine cinsel içerikli görseller gönderme davranışına olan eğilimleri ve motivasyonları son yıllarda yurt dışında popüler bir araştırma konusu haline gelmiştir. Bu kavramın peşi sıra getirdiği risk faktörlerinin ortadan kaldırılması için konunun derinlemesine incelenmesi, bu konuya ilişkin akademik çalışmaların yapılması ve bulguların değerlendirilmesi büyük önem taşımaktadır. Bu bağlamda, bu çalışmanın amacı, oldukça yeni bir kavram olan ve Türkiye'de de akademik çalışmalarda henüz ön plana çıkmamış olan cinsel içerikli mesajlaşma (sexting) kavramı hakkındaki araştırma eğilimlerinin incelemesi ve bu kavram hakkında farkındalık yaratmaktır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, cinsel içerikli mesajlaşma kavramı açıklanmış ve yurt dışında yayınlanmış araştırmalar çeşitli açılardan incelenmiştir. Anahtar Kelimeler. Cinsel içerikli mesajlaşma, romantik ilişki, genç yetişkinler, derleme Abstract. The effects of digital age technologies, which are constantly and rapidly developing, continue to take place in every moment and every area of human life. These kinds of developments bring new concepts with them. The tendency and motivation of young adults to exchange sexually charged materials with each other by using various technological devices called "sexting" in their romantic relationships and sexual lives have become a popular research subject abroad in recent years. In order to eliminate the risk factors brought about by this concept, it is of great importance to examine this subject in-depth, conduct academic research on this subject, and evaluate the findings. In this context, the aim of this study is to examine and raise awareness about the research trends of sexting, which is a fairly new concept and has not yet come to the fore in academic studies in Turkey. For this purpose, the concept of sexting has been explained and the studies published abroad have been examined from various aspects.
Article
Objective(s) We examined the prevalence of sexting, related motivations, demographics, and association with behavioral health problems among justice-involved adolescents. Hypotheses We hypothesized positive associations between sexting and sexual risk, substance use, delinquency, and mental health problems. Methods Participants were 307 community-supervised justice-involved adolescents with a first-time offense (Mage =14.50 years, 44.6% female) and their caregivers. Adolescents answered questions on technology use and sexting by sending, receiving, or forwarding sexually suggestive text messages and images (pictures or videos). They also completed measures of recent (past 4-month) sexual activity, unprotected sex, cigarette, alcohol, marijuana, and other drug use, and delinquency; current trauma symptoms, internalizing problems, and adaptive functioning. Results Prevalence of sexting were 37.7% (lifetime overall; 17.0% sent texts; 17.4% sent images) and 29.5% (past-year overall; 12.8% sent texts; 13.6% sent images). Sexts were commonly sent as presents to partners, in response to sexts received, or to have fun. “Sexters” were older than “non-sexters” and more likely to identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning. Past-year sexting was significantly associated with recent sexual activity; unprotected sex; alcohol use and days of use; marijuana and other drug use; delinquency and variety of delinquent acts; and elevated trauma symptoms and internalizing problems. Conclusions Sexting is prevalent among adolescents with a first-time offense and co-occurs with multiple behavioral health needs. Intervention for this population may be informed by routinely assessing sexting in community settings. Familiarity with local reporting laws could help clinicians navigate the legal implications of sexting among adolescents with existing justice-system involvement.
Article
Introducción. El sexting se define como el envío de contenido erótico o pornográfico a través de dispositivos digitales, comúnmente el móvil o smartphone, como una expresión de sexualidad cada vez más frecuente, y a pesar de que este fenómeno puede tener lugar con efectos positivos en quienes lo practican, existe muy poca evidencia relacionada con los mecanismos de participación, los motivos que conllevan, la percepción de las consecuencias, entre otros. Algunos autores lo han relacionado con factores como el consumo de sustancias, la promiscuidad y el nivel socioeconómico. Método. Estudio observacional, transversal y relacional, que incluyó a 300 estudiantes universitarios de enfermería, a través de un muestreo no probabilístico a conveniencia, en el que se aplicaron dos instrumentos, la escala de conductas sobre sexting y el instrumento de nivel socioeconómico familiar NSE AMAI. Resultados. El 64,7 % declara haber participado en prácticas de sexting, de los cuales el 26,2 % publicó una imagen suya a través de sus redes sociales, el 13,9 % declaró realizarlo cuando bebe alcohol y el 43,8 % reportó que es falso que el sexting los hace sentir inmorales. Se encontraron relaciones de prevalencia e intensidad del sexting con el nivel socioeconómico y la vida sexual activa. Conclusión. Al entender los distintos factores que predominan en esta práctica se pueden desarrollar diferentes intervenciones contextualizadas en los grupos poblacionales de riesgo, que sean accesibles por ambas partes, lo que permite una libre expresión de la sexualidad sin comprometer la seguridad de las personas.
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Despite their importance in assessing the impact of policies, outcome evaluations—and in particular randomized experiments—are relatively rare. The rationalizations used to justify the absence of outcome evaluations include such assertions as “we know our programs are working,”“they can't possibly harm anyone,” and “if they only help one kid they're worth it.” Using preliminary results from a systematic review of nine randomized experiments of the Scared Straight, or prison visitation program, the authors show that a popular and well-meaning program can have harmful effects. They use these results to argue for more rigorous evaluations to test criminal justice interventions.
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Recently, a phenomenon known as sexting, defined here as the transfer of sexually explicit photos via cell phone, has received substantial attention in the U.S. national media. To determine the current and potential future impact of sexting, more information about the behavior and the attitudes and beliefs surrounding it must be gathered, particularly as it relates to sexting by minors. The present study was designed to provide preliminary information about this phenomenon. Participants were 606 high school students (representing 98 % of the available student body) recruited from a single private high school in the southwestern U.S. Nearly 20 % of all participants reported they had ever sent a sexually explicit image of themselves via cell phone while almost twice as many reported that they had ever received a sexually explicit picture via cell phone and, of these, over 25 % indicated that they had forwarded such a picture to others. Of those reporting having sent a sexually explicit cell phone picture, over a third did so despite believing that there could be serious legal and other consequences attached to the behavior. Given the potential legal and psychological risks associated with sexting, it is important for adolescents, parents, school administrators, and even legislators and law enforcement to understand this behavior.
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To examine characteristics of youth sexting cases handled by police and their outcomes in response to clinical and other concerns about the risks of sexting behavior. Mail surveys were sent to a stratified national sample of 2712 law enforcement agencies followed by detailed telephone interviews with investigators about a nationally representative sample of sexting cases handled by police during 2008 and 2009 (n = 675). The cases involved "youth-produced sexual images" that constituted child pornography under relevant statutes according to respondents. US law enforcement agencies handled an estimated 3477 cases of youth-produced sexual images during 2008 and 2009 (95% confidence interval: 3282-3672). Two-thirds of the cases involved an "aggravating" circumstance beyond the creation and/or dissemination of a sexual image. In these aggravated cases, either an adult was involved (36% of cases) or a minor engaged in malicious, non-consensual, or abusive behavior (31% of cases). An arrest occurred in 62% of cases with an adult involved, in 36% of the aggravated youth-only cases, and in 18% of the "experimental" cases (youth-only and no aggravating elements). Most of the images (63%) were distributed by cell phone only and did not reach the Internet. Sex offender registration applied in only a few unusual cases. Many of the youth sexting cases that come to the attention of police include aggravating circumstances that raise concerns about health and risky sexual behavior, although some cases were relatively benign. Overall, arrest is not typical in cases with no adults involved.
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To obtain national estimates of youth involved in sexting in the past year (the transmission via cell phone, the Internet, and other electronic media of sexual images), as well as provide details of the youth involved and the nature of the sexual images. The study was based on a cross-sectional national telephone survey of 1560 youth Internet users, ages 10 through 17. Estimates varied considerably depending on the nature of the images or videos and the role of the youth involved. Two and one-half percent of youth had appeared in or created nude or nearly nude pictures or videos. However, this percentage is reduced to 1.0% when the definition is restricted to only include images that were sexually explicit (ie, showed naked breasts, genitals, or bottoms). Of the youth who participated in the survey, 7.1% said they had received nude or nearly nude images of others; 5.9% of youth reported receiving sexually explicit images. Few youth distributed these images. Because policy debates on youth sexting behavior focus on concerns about the production and possession of illegal child pornography, it is important to have research that collects details about the nature of the sexual images rather than using ambiguous screening questions without follow-ups. The rate of youth exposure to sexting highlights a need to provide them with information about legal consequences of sexting and advice about what to do if they receive a sexting image. However, the data suggest that appearing in, creating, or receiving sexual images is far from being a normative behavior for youth.
Article
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The main aim of this study was to investigate the causal nature of the relationship between adolescents' risky sexual behavior on the internet and their perceptions of this behavior. Engagement in the following online behaviors was assessed: searching online for someone to talk about sex, searching online for someone to have sex, sending intimate photos or videos to someone online, and sending one's telephone number and address to someone exclusively known online. The relationship between these behaviors and adolescents' perceptions of peer involvement, personal invulnerability, and risks and benefits was investigated. A two-wave longitudinal study among a representative sample of 1,445 Dutch adolescents aged 12-17 was conducted (49% females). Autoregressive cross-lagged structural equation models revealed that perceived peer involvement, perceived vulnerability, and perceived risks were all significant predictors of risky sexual online behavior 6 months later. No reverse causal paths were found. When the relationships between perceptions and risky sexual online behavior were modeled simultaneously, only perceived peer involvement was a determinant of risky sexual online behavior. Findings highlight the importance of addressing peer involvement in future interventions to reduce adolescents' risky sexual online behavior.
Article
The effects of Mississippi Department of Corrections' Project Aware Program, a non-confrontational prisoner-run juvenile delinquency deterrence program, were evaluated. The treatment group of 97 randomily assigned adjudicated juvenile delinquent males attended the prison-based program. The offenses and school attendance records of the treatment group were contrasted with those of a control group comprised of 79 randomly assigned adjudicated juvenile delinquent males. Although participation in the program did not appear to reduce recidivism risk, those attending the program were significantly less likely to drop out of school than were controls.
Crime, smoking, drug use, alcoholism, reckless driving, and many other unhealthy patterns of behavior that play out over a lifetime often debut during adolescence. Avoiding risks or buying time can set a different lifetime pattern. Changing unhealthy behaviors in adolescence would have a broad impact on society, reducing the burdens of disease, injury, human suffering, and associated economic costs. Any program designed to prevent or change such risky behaviors should be founded on a clear idea of what is normative (what behaviors, ideally, should the program foster?), descriptive (how are adolescents making decisions in the absence of the program?), and prescriptive (which practices can realistically move adolescent decisions closer to the normative ideal?). Normatively, decision processes should be evaluated for coherence (is the thinking process nonsensical, illogical, or self-contradictory?) and correspondence (are the out-comes of the decisions positive?). Behaviors that promote positive physical and mental health outcomes in modern society can be at odds with those selected for by evolution (e.g., early procreation). Healthy behaviors may also conflict with a decision maker's goals. Adolescents' goals are more likely to maximize immediate pleasure, and strict decision analysis implies that many kinds of unhealthy behavior, such as drinking and drug use, could be deemed rational. However, based on data showing developmental changes in goals, it is important for policy to promote positive long-term outcomes rather than adolescents' short-term goals. Developmental data also suggest that greater risk aversion is generally adaptive, and that decision processes that support this aversion are more advanced than those that support risk taking. A key question is whether adolescents are developmentally competent to make decisions about risks. In principle, barring temptations with high rewards and individual differences that reduce self-control (i.e., under ideal conditions), adolescents are capable of rational decision making to achieve their goals. In practice, much depends on the particular situation in which a decision is made. In the heat of passion, in the presence of peers, on the spur of the moment, in unfamiliar situations, when trading off risks and benefits favors bad long-term outcomes, and when behavioral inhibition is required for good outcomes, adolescents are likely to reason more poorly than adults do. Brain maturation in adolescence is incomplete. Impulsivity, sensation seeking, thrill seeking, depression, and other individual differences also contribute to risk taking that resists standard risk-reduction interventions, although some conditions such as depression can be effectively treated with other approaches. Major explanatory models of risky decision making can be roughly divided into (a) those, including health-belief models and the theory of planned behavior, that adhere to a "rational" behavioral decision-making framework that stresses deliberate, quantitative trading off of risks and benefits; and (b) those that emphasize nondeliberative reaction to the perceived gists or prototypes in the immediate decision environment. (A gist is a fuzzy mental representation of the general meaning of information or experience; a prototype is a mental representation of a standard or typical example of a category.) Although perceived risks and especially benefits predict behavioral intentions and risk-taking behavior, behavioral willingness is an even better predictor of susceptibility to risk taking - and has unique explanatory power - because adolescents are willing to do riskier things than they either intend or expect to do. Dual-process models, such as the prototype/willingness model and fuzzy-trace theory, identify two divergent paths to risk taking: a reasoned and a reactive route. Such models explain apparent contradictions in the literature, including different causes of risk taking for different individuals. Interventions to reduce risk taking must take into account the different causes of such behavior if they are to be effective. Longitudinal and experimental research are needed to disentangle opposing causal processes - particularly, those that produce positive versus negative relations between risk perceptions and behaviors. Counterintuitive findings that must be accommodated by any adequate theory of risk taking include the following: (a) Despite conventional wisdom, adolescents do not perceive themselves to be invulnerable, and perceived vulnerability declines with increasing age; (b) although the object of many interventions is to enhance the accuracy of risk perceptions, adolescents typically overestimate important risks, such as HIV and lung cancer; (c) despite increasing competence in reasoning, some biases in judgment and decision making grow with age, producing more " irrational" violations of coherence among adults than among adolescents and younger children. The latter occurs because of a known developmental increase in gist processing with age. One implication of these findings is that traditional interventions stressing accurate risk perceptions are apt to be ineffective or backfire because young people already feel vulnerable and overestimate their risk. In addition, research shows that experience is not a good teacher for children and younger adolescents, because they tend to learn little from negative outcomes (favoring the use of effective deterrents, such as monitoring and supervision), although learning from experience improves considerably with age. Experience in the absence of negative consequences may increase feelings of invulnerability and thus explain the decrease in risk perceptions from early to late adolescence, as exploration increases. Finally, novel interventions that discourage deliberate weighing of risks and benefits by adolescents may ultimately prove more effective and enduring. Mature adults apparently resist taking risks not out of any conscious deliberation or choice, but because they intuitively grasp the gists of risky situations, retrieve appropriate risk-avoidant values, and never proceed down the slippery slope of actually contemplating tradeoffs between risks and benefits.
Article
Trying to understand why adolescents and young adults take more risks than younger or older individuals do has challenged psychologists for decades. Adolescents' inclination to engage in risky behavior does not appear to be due to irrationality, delusions of invulnerability, or ignorance. This paper presents a perspective on adolescent risk taking grounded in developmental neuroscience. According to this view, the temporal gap between puberty, which impels adolescents toward thrill seeking, and the slow maturation of the cognitive-control system, which regulates these impulses, makes adolescence a time of heightened vulnerability for risky behavior. This view of adolescent risk taking helps to explain why educational interventions designed to change adolescents' knowledge, beliefs, or attitudes have been largely ineffective, and suggests that changing the contexts in which risky behavior occurs may be more successful than changing the way adolescents think about risk.
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Code Ann. § 12.1-27.1-03
  • N D Cent
N.D. Cent. Code Ann. § 12.1-27.1-03.3 (West, Westlaw through 2013 Regular Session of the 63rd Legislative Assembly).
§ 2A:4A-71.1 (West, Westlaw with laws effective through L.2013, c. 165 and
  • N J Stat
  • Ann
N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2A:4A-71.1 (West, Westlaw with laws effective through L.2013, c. 165 and J.R. No. 11).
Iowa court upholds ‘sexting’ conviction
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Schulte, G. (Sept. 18, 2009). Iowa court upholds 'sexting' conviction. U.S.A. Today. Retrieved from: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/ news/nation/2009-09-18-iowa-sexting_N.htm. Accessed 10 May 2014.
Westlaw through 2013 First Special Session)
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Utah Code Ann. § 76-10-1206 (West, Westlaw through 2013 First Special Session).
737 (West, Westlaw through
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 200.737 (West, Westlaw through 2011 76th Regular Session of the Nevada Legislature, and technical corrections received from the Legislative Counsel Bureau (2012)).
  • Neb
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 28-813.01 (West, Westlaw through the 102nd Legislature Second Regular Session (2012)).
§ 2802B (West, Westlaw through First Session of the 2013-2014
  • Vt
  • Stat
  • Ann
Vt. Stat. Ann. § 2802B (West, Westlaw through First Session of the 2013-2014 Vermont General Assembly (2013)).
How a cell phone picture led to girl’s suicide
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Kaye, R. (2010, October 7). How a cell phone picture led to girl's suicide. CNN. Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/10/07/ hope.witsells.story/index.html. Accessed 8 May 2014.
Sharing personal images and videos among young people
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Phippen, A. (2009). Sharing personal images and videos among young people. Retrieved from South West Grid for Learning & University of Plymouth, UK website: http://www.swgfl.org.uk/Staying-Safe/ Sexting-Survey. Accessed 15 May 2014. R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 11-9-1.4; 26-10-33 (West, Westlaw through chapter 534 of the 2013 Regular Session).
Teen online & wireless safety survey: cyberbullying, sexting, and parental controls Retrieved from: http://web.archive.org/web Sexting: a cause for concern. Retrieved from the Education Development Center website
Cox Communications & National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (2009). Teen online & wireless safety survey: cyberbullying, sexting, and parental controls. Retrieved from: http://web.archive.org/web/20100107065200/http://www.cox.com/ takecharge/safe_teens_2009/media/2009_teen_survey_internet_ and_wireless_safety.pdf. Accessed 15 May 2014. Education Development Center (2013). Sexting: a cause for concern. Retrieved from the Education Development Center website: http:// www.edc.org/newsroom/articles/sexting_cause_concern. Accessed 10 May 2014.
0141 (West, Westlaw through Ch
  • Fla
  • Stat
  • Ann
Fla. Stat. Ann. § 847.0141 (West, Westlaw through Ch. 272 (End) of the 2013 1st Reg. Sess. of the Twenty-Third Legislature).
Westlaw through First Session of the 2013-2014
  • Vt
  • Stat
Sexting: a cause for concern. Retrieved from the Education Development Center website: http://www.edc.org/newsroom/articles/sexting_cause_concern
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Westlaw through the First Regular and First Special Sessions of the Fifty-first Legislature)
  • Ariz
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-309 (West, Westlaw through the First Regular and First Special Sessions of the Fifty-first Legislature).
Westlaw through end of the
  • Ill
  • Comp
Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 405/3-40 (West, Westlaw through end of the 2013 Reg. Sess.).
Sexting: a cause for concern
Education Development Center (2013). Sexting: a cause for concern. Retrieved from the Education Development Center website: http:// www.edc.org/newsroom/articles/sexting_cause_concern. Accessed 10 May 2014.
Penal Code Ann. § 43.261 (West, Westlaw end of the
  • Tex
Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 43.261 (West, Westlaw end of the 2013 Third Called Session of the 83rd Legislature).