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04.02.2020

Opinions of Adolescents on Prevention Related to Sexting: a Q-Methodology Study

Zeitschrift:
Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Autoren:
Yara Barrense-Dias, Christina Akre, Joan-Carles Suris, André Berchtold
Wichtige Hinweise

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Abstract

Introduction

Sexting has attracted the interest of researchers, media, and public opinion, but its definition still does not reach consensus. This gap may lead to diverging prevention messages. This study investigated the opinions of adolescents on a set of sexting-related preventive measures.

Methods

In 2018, 48 adolescents (27 females) aged 13 to 18 years participated in the study. To assess opinions of adolescents on sexting-related prevention, we conducted a Q-methodology study, a mixed methods research, in Lausanne (Canton of Vaud, Switzerland). The final Q-set constituted 58 statements reflecting a wide range of key messages, key actors, and materials. Each participant was asked to rank-order the 58 cards using a grid ranging from − 5 (completely disagree) to + 5 (completely agree).

Results

Five different profiles of considering sexting-related prevention were identified: Focus on consequences, sex education, and testimonies, focus on guidelines, focus on training/information, and peer prevention. The typical scenario used in many prevention campaigns illustrating a girl who is victim of a non-consensual sharing perpetrated by a boy was not appreciated. The topic of the Internet was not considered an appropriate gateway to discuss sexting. Pressure and bullying issues as topics to discuss in a sexting-related prevention were the most consensual statements.

Conclusions

This study highlighted the need to offer a multi-disciplinary, multi-resource and multi-concept approach in sexting-related prevention. Broader values such as respect and consent must be integrated. Consensual sexting must be clearly differentiated from non-consensual dissemination. Policy implications and future directions, including prevention strategies, are discussed.

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