Sexting in adolescents: Prevalence and behaviours

Ojeda, Mónica and Del-Rey, Rosario and Walrave, Michel and Vandebosch, Heidi Sexting in adolescents: Prevalence and behaviours. Comunicar, 2020, vol. 28, n. 64, pp. 9-19. [Journal article (Paginated)]

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English abstract

Sexting is among the practices used by young people to explore their sexuality. Although an educational response to all facets of this phenomenon is recommended, little research has been published to date in Spain that analyses its prevalence by differentiating between the different types of sexting behaviours: sending, receiving, third-party forwarding, and receiving via an intermediary. This gap in the research is addressed by exploring: 1) Sexting prevalence, differentiating between behaviours; 2) Relationships between sexting behaviours and gender, age, sexual orientation, having a romantic/sexual partner, social networking sites used, and the degree of normalisation and willingness to sext; 3) Gender-based differences. In total, 3,314 adolescents aged 12 to 16 years participated in the study. The most frequent sexting behaviours were identified as receiving and receiving via an intermediary, followed by third-party forwarding and the sending of sexual content. The relative importance of each analysed variable depended on the specific sexting behaviour and the participants’ gender. The results highlight the need to disentangle the diversity behind sexting behaviours and to address each one in an educational setting. This more detailed look at the different behaviours can be used as the basis for raising awareness and decision-making in education.

Spanish abstract

El sexting es una de las prácticas a través de la que los jóvenes exploran su sexualidad. Aunque se recomienda responder educativamente a todas las formas en las que se puede expresar este fenómeno, en España, se ha publicado poca investigación que analice su prevalencia diferenciando los distintos tipos de comportamientos de sexting: envío, recepción, reenvío y recepción de reenvíos. El presente estudio aborda esta brecha en la investigación explorando: 1) La prevalencia de sexting, diferenciando entre comportamientos; 2) Las relaciones entre los comportamientos de sexting y el género, la edad, la orientación sexual, tener pareja romántica/sexual, las redes sociales utilizadas, el grado de normalización del sexting y la predisposición para participar en él; 3) Las diferencias de género. En total, participaron 3.314 adolescentes de 12 a 16 años. Los comportamientos de sexting más frecuentes fueron la recepción y la recepción de reenvíos, seguidos del reenvío y el envío. La importancia relativa de cada una de las variables analizadas dependió del comportamiento analizado y del género de los adolescentes. Los resultados destacan la importancia de desenredar la diversidad de los comportamientos de sexting y abordar cada uno de ellos desde la educación. Este punto de vista más detallado sobre los diferentes comportamientos podría utilizarse como base para la toma de decisiones educativas y de sensibilización.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Sexting; adolescence; prevalence; normalisation; willingness; social networking sites; gender; education; Sexting; adolescencia; prevalencia; normalización; predisposición; redes sociales; género; educación
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 22 Jun 2020 18:17
Last modified: 22 Jun 2020 18:17


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