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Four Problems in Sexting Research and Their Solutions

School of Psychology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
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Academic Editor: Angel L. Montejo
Sexes 2021, 2(4), 415-432; https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040033
Received: 31 August 2021 / Revised: 1 October 2021 / Accepted: 5 October 2021 / Published: 10 October 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: sexting; cybersex; technology-mediated sexual interaction; computer-mediated communication; research methods; measurement sexting; cybersex; technology-mediated sexual interaction; computer-mediated communication; research methods; measurement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Courtice, E.L.; Shaughnessy, K. Four Problems in Sexting Research and Their Solutions. Sexes 2021, 2, 415-432. https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040033

AMA Style

Courtice EL, Shaughnessy K. Four Problems in Sexting Research and Their Solutions. Sexes. 2021; 2(4):415-432. https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040033

Chicago/Turabian Style

Courtice, Erin Leigh, and Krystelle Shaughnessy. 2021. "Four Problems in Sexting Research and Their Solutions" Sexes 2, no. 4: 415-432. https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2040033

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