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Sexting: Young Women's and Men's Views on Its Nature and Origins

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study addresses a gap in evidence regarding the nature and origins of the phenomenon of sexting from the perspective of young people.

      Methods

      A qualitative methodology was used, involving individual semistructured interviews with 33 young people aged 15–20 years. Participants were sourced via youth health, recreational, and educational settings using purposive snowball sampling. Results were organized using NVivo, and themes were generated.

      Results

      Interviews with 15 males and 18 females exposed a number of themes, including the gendered nature of sexting, which is the focus of this article. Of particular concern is the theme of pressure experienced by both young women and young men to be involved in the behavior.

      Conclusions

      Findings highlight important implications for the design of strategies to prevent the potential harmful consequences of sexting. For prevention approaches to be effective, they must consider the underlying origins of the behavior and the online sociocultural context within which young people live.

      Keywords

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