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What Do Kids Think About Sexting?

NCJ Number
Computers in Human Behavior Volume: 86 Dated: 2018 Pages: 256-265
Ateret Gewirtz-Meydan; Kimberly J. Mitchell; Emily F. Rothman
Date Published
September 2018
10 pages
This study examined youths' attitudes and beliefs about the impact of sexting, as well as their likelihood of reporting it to authorities.
The study used a national sample of 1560 youth Internet users, ages 10 to 17, collected between 2010 and 2011. The study's findings indicate that the majority of youth considered sexting to be a crime. Compared with youth not involved in sexting, youth who were involved in sexting were less likely to consider sexting a crime and did not believe that sexting would hurt their chances of getting a job, hurt friendships, romantic relationships, or their relationship with their family. Boys and older youth held more favorable attitudes toward sexting than girls and younger youth. Boys were also less likely to say that they would report sexting to authorities and were less likely to say that they would talk to their friends in order to prevent them from sexting. Youth who reported substance use, had ever had sexual intercourse, and engaged in intentional pornography consumption, were less likely to think sexting would hurt friendships or relationships, or say they would report sexting compared with youth not involved in these activities. (publisher abstract modified)