ijerph-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2021) | Viewed by 18466

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rosario Del Rey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, Universidad de Sevilla, 41019 Seville, Spain
Interests: bullying; cyberbullying; sexting, teacher training; evidence-based practices
Prof. Dr. Walrave Michel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Interests: online self-disclosure; privacy; sexting; sharenting; cyberbullying
Dr. Joris Van Ouytsel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Communication Studies, University of Antwerp, Belgium
Interests: social media; digital forms of dating violence; sexting; adolescence
Ms. Mónica Ojeda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
Interests: adolescence; sexting; gender; social media; psychoeducational programmes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Virtual environments and virtual social networks have facilitated the emergence of new forms of communication and interaction, leading to phenomena such as sexting. Although the field of sexting research has made great progress over the past decade, some issues still remain unanswered such as differences between sexting behaviors, those involved, its double sexual standard, if sexting should be considered a risk or not, and how it could affect the psychological health of those involved. Furthermore, little is known about problematic forms of sexting, such as nonconsensual forwarding; sexting under pressure; and their associations with other phenomena such as cyberbullying, bullying, grooming, cybergossip, sexual coercion, or intimate partner violence. More research is also needed to focus on concrete evidence-based practices that show how to prevent and intervene in problematic forms of sexting.

This Special Issue aims to contribute to the scientific community generating a better understanding of what sexting is and how it is related to offline and online phenomena. Thus, manuscripts of a different nature are welcome as long as they contribute to further progress on the practices of sexting, the development of its associated factors, and the dissemination of evidence-based practices that provide us with different methods of prevention and intervention, or on sexting’s related impact on psychological health. We encourage and welcome contributions from all geographical areas and from different disciplines.

Prof. Dr. Rosario Del Rey
Prof. Dr. Walrave Michel
Dr. Joris Van Ouytsel
Ms. Mónica Ojeda
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Forms of sexting
  • Double sexual standard
  • Associated factors
  • Evidence-based practices
  • Prevention

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Multiple Forms of Sexting and Associations with Psychosocial Health in Early Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052760 - 09 Mar 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1310
Abstract
Despite the recent surge of sexting research, the link between sexting and psychosocial health remains inconclusive. To address this gap in the literature, we examined the link between multiple forms of sexting and a range of psychosocial health problems. Data were from a [...] Read more.
Despite the recent surge of sexting research, the link between sexting and psychosocial health remains inconclusive. To address this gap in the literature, we examined the link between multiple forms of sexting and a range of psychosocial health problems. Data were from a randomized controlled trial of a school-based dating violence prevention program. Participants were 2199 early adolescents (49.8% female) aged 14 years and under (mean age = 13.53, SD = 0.50) enrolled in middle-schools in southeast Texas. Participants self-reported to be 35.4% Hispanic, 7.9% Non-Hispanic White, 26.2% Non-Hispanic Black, 18.6% Asian, and 11.9% other. Multilevel multivariate regressions found that pressured sexting was associated with hostility and aggressive temperament. Receiving unsolicited sexts was associated with depression, impulsivity, hostility, emotion dysregulation, and aggressive temperament. Forwarding sexts without permission was linked to hostility. Asking someone for sexts was linked to impulsivity and aggressive temperament, while being asked to send a sext was associated with depression, anxiety, impulsivity, hostility, emotion dysregulation, and aggressive temperament. Finally, consensual sexting was not significantly associated with poor psychosocial health of any type. Interventions should focus on preventing pressured sexting and teaching early adolescents on how to respond to being pressured to sext. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Article
How Are Consensual, Non-Consensual, and Pressured Sexting Linked to Depression and Self-Harm? The Moderating Effects of Demographic Variables
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2597; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052597 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
Sexting among adolescents has triggered controversial debates among scholars and the general public. However, questions regarding the associations between different types of sexting, namely consensual, non-consensual, and pressured sexting, depressive symptoms, and non-suicidal self-harm remain. In addition, little attention has been given to [...] Read more.
Sexting among adolescents has triggered controversial debates among scholars and the general public. However, questions regarding the associations between different types of sexting, namely consensual, non-consensual, and pressured sexting, depressive symptoms, and non-suicidal self-harm remain. In addition, little attention has been given to whether demographic variables (i.e., gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual minority) might influence these associations. To fill these gaps in the literature, the present study was conducted. Participants were 2506 adolescents (ages 13–16 years old; Mage = 15.17; SDage = 0.89) from eight high schools located in the suburbs of a large Midwestern city in the United States. Adolescents self-identified as female (50%), Caucasian (57%), approximately 15% reported that they had a disability they received school accommodation for, and 18% self-identified as a sexual minority. They completed self-report questionnaires on their sexting behaviors, depressive symptoms, and non-suicidal self-harm. Findings revealed that non-consensual and pressured sexting were positively related to depressive symptoms and non-suicidal self-harm, whereas consensual sexting was unrelated to these outcomes. Boys engaged in more non-consensual sexting compared with girls, girls were more pressured to send sexts compared with boys, and sexual minority adolescents reported greater consensual sexting compared with non-sexual minority adolescents. Moderating effects revealed that girls, non-minority adolescents, and non-sexual minority adolescents experienced greater depressive symptoms and non-suicidal self-harm when they experienced pressured sexting. These findings underscore the importance of considering various types of sexting and adolescents’ demographic variables when examining the negative outcomes of sexting. Disentangling the relationships among different types of sexting, depressive symptoms, and self-harm aids in the development of evidence-based recommendations for sexting harm prevention and sexual education programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Article
The Relationship between Dark Triad Personality Traits and Sexting Behaviors among Adolescents and Young Adults across 11 Countries
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2526; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052526 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4347
Abstract
Background: Sexting is an increasingly common phenomenon among adolescents and young adults. Some studies have investigated the role of personality traits in different sexting behaviors within mainstream personality taxonomies like Big Five and HEXACO. However, very few studies have investigated the role of [...] Read more.
Background: Sexting is an increasingly common phenomenon among adolescents and young adults. Some studies have investigated the role of personality traits in different sexting behaviors within mainstream personality taxonomies like Big Five and HEXACO. However, very few studies have investigated the role of maladaptive personality factors in sexting. Therefore, the present study investigated the relationship between Dark Triad Personality Traits and experimental (i.e., sharing own sexts), risky (i.e., sexting under substance use and with strangers), and aggravated sexting (i.e., non-consensual sexting and sexting under pressure) across 11 countries. Methods: An online survey was completed by 6093 participants (Mage = 20.35; SDage = 3.63) from 11 different countries which covered four continents (Europe, Asia, Africa, and America). Participants completed the Sexting Behaviors Questionnaire and the 12-item Dark Triad Dirty Dozen scale. Results: Hierarchical regression analyses showed that sharing own sexts was positively predicted by Machiavellianism and Narcissism. Both risky and aggravated sexting were positively predicted by Machiavellianism and Psychopathy. Conclusions: The present study provided empirical evidence that different sexting behaviors were predicted by Dark Triad Personality Traits, showing a relevant role of Machiavellianism in all kinds of investigated sexting behaviors. Research, clinical, and education implications for prevention programs are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Sext Dissemination: Differences across Nations in Motivations and Associations
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2429; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052429 - 02 Mar 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Sext dissemination presents policy and legislative challenges given its potential psychological, social, and legal harms. We report on a cross-national comparison of sext-image dissemination in a large sample of 1148 young adults aged 18–29 years (M = 22.54, SD = 2.50, 53.0% women, [...] Read more.
Sext dissemination presents policy and legislative challenges given its potential psychological, social, and legal harms. We report on a cross-national comparison of sext-image dissemination in a large sample of 1148 young adults aged 18–29 years (M = 22.54, SD = 2.50, 53.0% women, 47.0% men), either U.S. (53.8%) or Australian (46.2%) residents. The results indicate that 14% of young adults disseminated sexts, with no difference by gender or country. Over 50% of respondents indicated that the last time they received a disseminated sext, it was unexpected or unwelcome, with women twice as likely as men to receive unwelcome sexts. The most frequent motivations for sext dissemination were similar cross-nationally, relating to the attractiveness of the person depicted, as a joke, to gossip, because it was not a big deal, bragging, roasting or teasing, and to increase social status. Motivations of attractiveness, bragging, or social status were more commonly endorsed by men, while women endorsed reasons around gossip or roasting/teasing. Unique predictors of sext dissemination included U.S. residence, requesting sexts, receiving disseminated sexts, having one’s own images disseminated, and more positive subjective norms to dissemination, and there was a country–gender interaction, where Australian women and U.S. men were more likely to disseminate sexts than then U.S. women or Australian men. The findings have implications for prevention programs seeking to address harmful online sexual interactions, including addressing respect, consent, and subjective norms supporting non-consensual dissemination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Article
Cross-Cultural Differences in Sexting Practices between American and Spanish University Students
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042058 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1236
Abstract
Despite the growing body of research regarding sexting and online sexual victimization, there is little evidence exploring cultural differences in association with those behaviors. The aim of this study was to examine cultural differences in sexting practices by comparing an American sample and [...] Read more.
Despite the growing body of research regarding sexting and online sexual victimization, there is little evidence exploring cultural differences in association with those behaviors. The aim of this study was to examine cultural differences in sexting practices by comparing an American sample and a Spanish sample of university students. The original sample was composed of 1799 college students, including 1386 Spanish college students and 413 American Students, with 74% of female participants, and ages ranging from 18 to 64 years old (mean age = 21.26, SD= 4.61). Results indicate that American students sext more than Spanish students and have higher probabilities of being victims of nonconsensual dissemination of their sexual content. However, Spanish students receive more sexts than American students. Although our results show differences between the Spanish and the American samples that might be modulated by cultural factors, the vulnerability of females regarding sexting remains unchanged. Additionally, differences in specific characteristics of the behaviors (such as perceived risk, receiver of the sexual content, intensity of the sexual content, and motive for sexting) were also studied. Further results and implications are discussed in relation to cultural differences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Article
Social-Ecological Examination of Non-Consensual Sexting Perpetration among U.S. Adolescents
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(24), 9477; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17249477 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1416
Abstract
Adolescent sexting is a serious public health concern and is associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, declining academic performance, and health problems. Effective prevention of sexting requires a comprehensive and deep understanding of the multiple contexts whereby sexting is [...] Read more.
Adolescent sexting is a serious public health concern and is associated with adverse psychosocial outcomes, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, declining academic performance, and health problems. Effective prevention of sexting requires a comprehensive and deep understanding of the multiple contexts whereby sexting is likely to occur. The present study explores individual and contextual risk and protective factors that are associated with sexting behavior among a large sample of adolescents. Participants were high school students in midwestern U.S. (N = 2501; LGB n = 309, 76.4% female; non-LGB n = 2192, 47.4% female) who completed self-report measures of sexting and risk (e.g., pornography exposure, impulsivity) and protective (e.g., social support) factors. Path analysis models were conducted with the sexting outcome for groups of LGB and non-LGB students. Among LGB students, results indicated a significant association between sexting and parental monitoring (b = −0.08, p < 0.01); pornography exposure (b = 0.13, p < 0.05); dating partners (b = 0.01, p < 0.01); bullying perpetration (b = 0.17, p < 0.001); and delinquency (b = 0.13; p < 0.001). Among non-LGB students, significant associations were found between sexting and alcohol/substance use (b = 0.05, p < 0.001); bullying (b = 0.08, p < 0.001); and delinquency (b = 0.06, p < 0.001). Moderation analyses suggest that parental monitoring may have a buffering effect between sexting and several risk factors. Recommendations for practitioners include considering the protective factors of sexting perpetration and encouraging appropriate levels of parental monitoring and the continued importance of bullying and alcohol and drug prevention programming to decrease risk factors of sexting perpetration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Adolescents’ Sexy Self-Presentation on Instagram: An Investigation of Their Posting Behavior Using a Prototype Willingness Model Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8106; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218106 - 03 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1967
Abstract
Some adolescents use social media platforms, such as Instagram, for sexualized self-presentation, which includes posting images in which someone is scarcely dressed, has a sexy gaze or in which sexual willingness is suggested. These behaviors could be a first step towards sexting. Given [...] Read more.
Some adolescents use social media platforms, such as Instagram, for sexualized self-presentation, which includes posting images in which someone is scarcely dressed, has a sexy gaze or in which sexual willingness is suggested. These behaviors could be a first step towards sexting. Given that adolescents are highly influenced by peer perceptions, this study uses the prototype willingness model to assess how teenagers’ perceptions of others could influence their posting behaviors. The study was conducted among 2626 students (n = 1530; 58.4% girls) between the ages of 14 and 21 (M = 16.14; SD = 1.02) in 10 secondary schools in the Dutch-speaking community in Belgium. The results show that older adolescents and girls were more likely to post images of themselves on Instagram. The models showed that peer norms and willingness and attitudes were significantly associated with posting intention. The perceived norms of adolescents’ parents were not significantly related to the behaviors. There were also significant associations between perceived similarity, prototype favorability and the willingness to engage in sexualized self-presentation on Instagram. The implications for education and practice are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Development and Validation of the Adolescent Sexting Scale (A-SextS) with a Spanish Sample
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8042; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218042 - 31 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1883
Abstract
“Sexting” is generally defined as the exchange of sexual media content via the internet. However, research on this topic has underscored the need to seek greater consensus when considering different conceptual elements that make up this definition. The aim of this study was [...] Read more.
“Sexting” is generally defined as the exchange of sexual media content via the internet. However, research on this topic has underscored the need to seek greater consensus when considering different conceptual elements that make up this definition. The aim of this study was to develop and validate an instrument for measuring sexting among adolescents, in order to cover a gap identified in the previous literature. The Adolescent Sexting Scale (A-SextS for short) was developed for validation on a sample of 579 Spanish secondary school pupils between the ages of 11 and 18. Evidence for face, content, concurrent, and criterion validity were assessed. A comprehensive set of 64 items, covering six defining characteristics of sexting (e.g., actions, recipient, media format, degree of sexual explicitness), was constructed after conducting an extensive literature review, two discussion groups, and a pilot study. Sexting prevalence rates measured by A-SextS were mostly concurrent with those found in previous studies. A-SextS subscales produced statistically significant positive associations with pornography consumption and physical sexual intercourse. The study shows that A-SextS can be an integrating instrument that facilitates a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of adolescent sexting experiences, as well as the formulation of an operationalized definition of the practice of sexting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Consensual Sexting among College Students: The Interplay of Coercion and Intimate Partner Aggression in Perceived Consequences of Sexting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7141; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17197141 - 29 Sep 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1643
Abstract
Recent empirical data suggests that the majority of adolescents and emerging adults utilize digital technology to engage with texting and social media on a daily basis, with many using these mediums to engage in sexting (sending sexual texts, pictures, or videos via digital [...] Read more.
Recent empirical data suggests that the majority of adolescents and emerging adults utilize digital technology to engage with texting and social media on a daily basis, with many using these mediums to engage in sexting (sending sexual texts, pictures, or videos via digital mediums). While research in the last decade has disproportionately focused on the potential risk factors and negative consequences associated with sexting, the data are limited by failing to differentiate consensual from non-consensual sexting and account for potential influences of intimate partner aggression (IPA) and sexting coercion in these contexts. In the current study, we assessed the positive and negative consequences associated with sexting, using behavioral theory as a framework, to determine the relationship between an individual’s personal history of IPA victimization and the perceived consequences. Undergraduate students (N = 536) who reported consensual sexting completed a series of measures examining their most recent sexting experience, including perceived sexting consequences, and their history of sexting coercion and IPA. Results suggested that those reporting a history of any type of IPA victimization endorsed more negative reinforcing consequences after sending a sext, and those with a history of physical or sexual IPA victimization endorsed more punishing consequences after sending a sext than those without such history. Additionally, experience with IPA was found to be positively correlated with perceived pressure/coercion to send a sext. The implications of these data for research, policy, prevention, and intervention are explored. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sexting: Links and Answers)
Back to TopTop