Victims’ experiences of cyberflashing: an explorative study

Jeacock, Bianca, Ohlsson, Ioan Marc and Jafari, Simon (2024) Victims’ experiences of cyberflashing: an explorative study. Journal of Sexual Aggression . pp. 1-14. ISSN 1355-2600

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This study aimed to explore how victims experience cyberflashing, which is the non-consensual sharing of sexually explicit material via technology. Using a qualitative design, five adults who had experienced cyberflashing partook in a semi-structured interview. These interviews were transcribed and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The findings indicate that cyberflashing is pervasive, committed mostly by boys and men towards girls and women, through social media and dating platforms, for different reasons like sexual gratification and boundary-testing. Victims perceive cyberflashing as immoral and dehumanising, yet excusable for several reasons including perpetrators’ poor interpersonal skills, proposing education and proportionate punishment to reduce the risk of cyberflashing. However, their perspectives have changed over time, for example blaming themselves less for their experiences due to gaining more relationship experience. They have also requested more support from the criminal justice system and technology platforms. Finally, a clear difference between cyberflashing and “sexting” has been identified.

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