Added: Eda Orlowski - Date: 06.09.2021 22:11 - Views: 28116 - Clicks: 4957
Abstract Sexting — that is, the private exchange of self-produced sexual images via cell phone or the internet — has been widely discussed in public and academic discourses as a new high-risk behavior among youths especially girls that should be prevented through better education about the various and severe risks it poses.
This paper summarizes existing data on sexting prevalence 17 studieswhich reveal that sexting is much more common among adults than among youths, with increasing prevalence among adolescents as they grow older. In opposition to this deviance discourse, a normalcy discourse is appearing in the literature that interprets sexting as normal intimate communication within romantic and sexual relationships, both among adults and adolescents who are exploring realistic sexting growing into adult relationships. Next, the paper analyzes the sexting risk prevention messages of 10 online educational campaigns.
Such campaigns typically rely on scare scenarios, emphasize the risk of bullying and criminal prosecution, engage in female victim blaming, and recommend complete abstinence from sexting. The paper closes by questioning the abstinence approach in sexting education, and makes suggestions on how to move towards an evidence-based approach to sexting risk prevention that acknowledges both adolescents' vulnerability and sexual agency.
Keywords: sexting; sexually explicit user generated content; cell phone; gender; bullying; media education doi: As cell phones and other mobile devices today are ubiquitous and usually come with a camera as well as a picture messaging service MMS or even a full internet connection it is easier than ever before to produce and distribute self-made pictures including sexualized self-portraits.
The exchange of sexualized pictures that are not self-produced e. Consensual sexting needs to be differentiated from pressuring or blackmailing someone into providing sexual pictures as well as from the act of taking or forwarding revealing pictures without the consent of the person s in the image, which is a violation realistic sexting personal rights in many countries. While "sexting" is the established term in realistic sexting and academic discourses, youths usually do not talk about sending "sexts" or "engaging in sexting.
The emergence of sexting has been regarded primarily as a sexuality-related youth phenomenon. In recent years ificant media attention has been devoted to a of cases of teenage girls who killed themselves after sexts they had sent to their current crushes or realistic sexting became public and they were shamed, ridiculed, and harassed by their peers for press reports on the cases of Jessica Logan and Hope Witsell, see Agomuoh, ; Celizic, ; Inbar, realistic sexting Kotz, Against the backdrop of these discourses and concerns about risky adolescent sexting behavior, the current study addresses the following three research questions: RQ1 : How prevalent is sexting among adolescents as opposed to adults?
Prevalence data comparing minors and adults can help us to understand the role of this new type of sexual communication across the lifespan. RQ2 : What are the risks and opportunities of consensual sexting? RQ3 : Which educational sexting-risk prevention messages are currently disseminated? Both public and academic discourses have been stressing the need to educate youth, parents, and teachers about sexting risks. Answering these three research questions can help to better assess current realities with regard to sexting and move towards an evidence-based approach to sexting risk prevention.
Methods To answer the research questions three different methodological approaches were used: a a summary of primary studies on sexting prevalence, b a systematic literature review on sexting risks and opportunities, and c a content analysis of sexting risk prevention messages distributed by educational campaigns. Data Collection on Sexting Prevalence Relatively few empirical studies have been conducted to date concerning how many adolescents and how many adults are participating in sexting.
It was possible to identify ten empirical studies reporting sexting prevalence rates among minors of different age groups five of them based on national representative samples and seven empirical studies reporting sexting prevalence rates among adults none of them based on national representative samples. Their main are presented in tables 1 and 2. It should be noted that within the scope of this paper no systematic meta-analysis was conducted.
The available prevalence rates were descriptively summarized. In spite of heterogeneity in a samples, b data collection methods, and c definitions of sexting for details see tables 1 and 2consistent overall trends appeared. Data Collection on Risks and Opportunities of Consensual Sexting The APA literature database PsycINFO was searched for all peer-reviewed journal articles addressing "sexting" with the search term "sexting" in the title or abstract of the paper that were published until the end of A pool of 48 peer-reviewed journal articles on sexting was built. An equivalent database search was performed for PubMed that returned 29 studies — 27 of them were already in the study pool; the two missed papers were added.
Altogether, the study pool contained 50 peer-reviewed empirical and theoretical sexting papers including editorials and comments from various disciplines such as psychology, medicine, sociology, law, and related fields, demonstrating growing research attention to this issue 1; 3; 8; 23 papers; see Appendix.
For each of the 50 papers, the citations author names and years and main topics very brief summaries as well as the target groups minors or adults are provided in Appendix. It should be noted that within the scope of this paper no formal discourse analysis was conducted. The dichotomy between deviance and normalcy in discussion around sexting is acknowledged by other sources, however e.
Chalfen, ; Levine, ; Lim, ; Wiederhold, Data Collection on Sexting Risk Prevention Messages An internet search engine was used to find educational online materials on sexting published by official sources search terms like "sexting campaign," "sexting prevention," and "sexting education". Each campaign website usually consisted of several web s and downloadable materials e. PDF files. All materials at each website were inspected and coded in October regarding five main content.
Two independent trained coders used the pretested coding system to code the ten campaigns' messages with the campaigns as the units of analysis. Inter-coder agreement was computed using Cohen's kappa coefficient. The final kappa coefficient was between 0.
Table 3 offers realistic sexting very first overview of educational sexting campaigns and their main messages. On the internet, youths are exposed not only to official sexting education campaigns, but also to peer advice. To complement educational messages with peer adviceavailable data from the research literature and examples from media culture were researched and presented.
Within the scope of this paper no systematic content analysis of peer advice messages was possible. The exploration of sexting tips shared among adolescent and adult sexters nevertheless is helpful to contextualize and scrutinize educational messages. Prevalence of Sexting in Minors and Adults The existing prevalence data for youth are quite divergent 2.
The ten studies reported in table 1 indicate a mean prevalence rate of Apparently, the majority of minors in the U. Table 1. The ten sexting studies reported in table 1 are ordered by lowest to highest age and show increasing sexting prevalence with increasing age. Regarding adult sexters, empirical data are scarce as well.
The seven sexting studies reported in table 2 are with three exceptions: 2, 3, 7 based on young adult samples from the U. Table 2. Existing empirical studies have produced the following three main findings regarding sexting prevalence: 1.
Sexting among minors occurs relatively seldom; depending on the study, between 2. Females of all age groups usually report being slightly more active sexters than males see table 1 and 2. Risks and Opportunities of Consensual Sexting The internet and realistic sexting cell phone are integral parts of contemporary adolescent life, and thus invariably play a crucial role in sexual communication, exploration, and personal sexual development Pascoe, Consensual sexting between adolescents, which is one specific type of sexualized mobile communication, has often been framed as risky and deviant behavior that is associated with other problematic behaviors like alcohol use or promiscuity.
Different types of sexting risks are addressed in the literature, and different explanations for supposedly deviant involvement of youth in sexting have been offered. Yet sexting has also been framed as a normal contemporary form of intimate communication in romantic and sexual relationships between adults as well as between adolescents who are exploring and growing into adult relationships. Different opportunities of consensual sexting in different relational contexts are addressed in the literature realistic sexting different explanations for supposedly normal involvement of youth in sexting are offered.
An article titled " Sexting: A terrifying health risk … or the new normal for young adults?
Papers in pediatrics, psychiatry, nursing, clinical psychology, and criminology often use the deviance frame. That privately exchanged sexts at some point "go viral" and are forwarded to third parties or published on the internet against the will of their original authors is typically regarded as very likely if not inevitable.
Additionally, the legal risk of criminal prosecution under child pornography laws e. The aforementioned types of risks are mainly formal and informal sanctions against adolescent sexting when it becomes public or at least known to authorities e. Sexting behavior is placed in a context of adolescent impulsivity, bad judgment, sensation seeking, and problematic alcohol and drug use. Still another line of research is concerned with the link between sexting and sexual objectification as well as between sexting and sexual violence.
Adolescent involvement in risky and deviant sexting behavior is mainly explained realistic sexting a thoughtlessness, b peer pressure, and c high-risk personality traits. Risk prevention is urgently requested. Usually it is implied that youth need to be better educated about the possible negative consequences of sexting especially the different realistic sexting of social and legal sanctions against adolescent sexters so that they can overcome thoughtlessness and peer pressure. In the age of the internet and mobile devices, intimate communication — as an integral part of building and maintaining romantic and sexual relationships — takes place via different channels, including face-to-face communication, telephone calls, e-mails, and text and photo messages.
Sexting is understood within the normalcy frame as regular intimate communication mediated by current communications technology, and as such, as the creative production of erotic material within the framework of contemporary media culture Hasinoff, ; Karaian, One indicator of the normalcy of sexting is its popularity among adults, whose behavior cannot be explained by adolescent bad judgment or peer pressure.
The strongest predictor for sexting in both adult and teenage populations is often simply being in a romantic relationship. The main opportunities associated with consensual sexting are the mutual expression of sexual desire and affection, playfulness, pleasure, as well as bonding and trust e.
Hasinoff, ; Karaian, In the realm of digital communications texting, online chatting, and sexting realistic sexting explore their sexual desires, identities, and relationships, and learn to communicate and deal with sexual feelings. Using mediated channels as opposed to face-to-face communication to disclose sexual emotion can be helpful in dealing with insecurity and shyness.
Involvement in romantic and sexual relationships is part of growing up. Exercising sexual agency and emancipating oneself from childhood roles and parental control are developmental tasks in adolescence, and can explain involvement in sexting Angelides, ; Simpson, The normalcy discourse points out that sexting is not consistently correlated with risky behavior or mental health problems e.
Ferguson, ; Gordon-Messer et al. Some studies even reveal positive correlations between sexting and sexual as well as relationship satisfaction e. From the perspective of the normalcy frame, the deviance discourse is conceived as another example of mass media-fuelled moral panic regarding adolescent sexuality e. Angelides, ; Draper, ; Hasinoff, ; Karaian, Criticizing the moral panic around adolescent sexting doesn't mean to deny the existence of problems related to this type of behavior, but stresses the need to investigate carefully both the downsides and benefits of consensual sexting experienced by all parties involved.
Harsh legal consequences in some countries e. Yet such legal sanctions are being increasingly questioned by legal experts, who point to adolescents' right to exercise sexual agency e. Angelides, ; Ostrager, ; Simpson, Another main reason why sexting is so dangerous especially for female realistic sexting is the widespread sexual double standard and the "slut shaming" of sexually active girls. Prevention of Sexting Risks In general, digital media literacy is gained through media education offered by various sources, such as parents, teachers, and educational campaigns, as well as through personal exploration and peer learning.
When it comes to sexting risk prevention, adolescents today are exposed to different prevention messages. Focusing on online prevention messages that are disseminated by websites and social media channels, we can differentiate between official educational campaigns and peer advice. Thus far, the content, dissemination, and effects of different types of sexting risk-prevention messages have not been systematically investigated.Realistic sexting
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