Sexting: predictive and protective factors for its perpetration and victimisation

Muncaster, Laura and Ohlsson, Ioan Marc (2020) Sexting: predictive and protective factors for its perpetration and victimisation. Journal of Sexual Aggression, 26 (3). pp. 346-358. ISSN 1355-2600

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Sexting is a phenomenon that has only recently been recognised as a sexual offence, specifically when such communications are directed towards a child. The current study sought to investigate the use of sexting by adults and whether it is utilised as a mechanism to sexually engage with victims under the age of 16. Self-worth, sexual self-worth, and resilience were also examined as factors potentially relating to perpetration and/or victimisation. Participants (n = 285) were recruited via opportunity sampling using an online questionnaire methodology. The results indicated sexting is being used by adults in an attempt to sexually engage with minors. It was found that males who had been victims of sexting were likely to become perpetrators, however, this was not the case for females. There were no statistically significant findings for self-worth, sexual self-worth, and resilience as predictors of victimisation. Implications for forensic practice, research and policy are discussed.

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