Sexting, adolescence, prevalence, normalisation, willingness, social networking sites, gender, education
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.
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This study was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PSI2017-86723-R). The work of Mónica Ojeda was supported by a research grant from the Spanish Ministry of Universities (FPU15/05037).
Publication date: 01-07-2020
Article revision time: 40 days | Average time revision issue 64: 36 days
Article acceptance time: 79 days | Average time of acceptance issue 64: 91 days
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How to cite
Ojeda, M., del-Rey, R., Walrave, M., & Vandebosch, H. (2020). Sexting in adolescents: Prevalence and behaviours. [Sexting en adolescentes: Prevalencia y comportamientos]. Comunicar, 64, 9-19. https://doi.org/10.3916/C64-2020-01