Title

Sexting: A New, Digital Vehicle for Intimate Partner Aggression?

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2015

Publication Source

Computers in Human Behavior

Volume

50

Inclusive pages

197–204

DOI

10.1016/j.chb.2015.04.001

Abstract

In this study, we examined the relationships between sexting coercion, physical sex coercion, intimate partner violence, and mental health and trauma symptoms within a sample of 480 young adult undergraduates (160 men and 320 women). Approximately one fifth of the sample indicated that they had engaged in sexting when they did not want to. Those who had been coerced into sexting had usually been coerced by subtler tactics (e.g., repeated asking and being made to feel obligated) than more severe forms of coercion (e.g., physical threats). Nevertheless, the trauma related to these acts of coercion both at the time they occurred and now (looking back) were greater for sexting coercion than for physical sex coercion. Moreover, women noted significantly more trauma now (looking back) than at the time the events occurred for sexting coercion. Additionally, those who experienced more instances of sexting coercion also endorsed more symptoms of anxiety, depression, and generalized trauma. Finally, sexting coercion was related to both physical sex coercion and intimate partner violence, which suggests that sexting coercion may be a form of intimate partner violence, providing perpetrators with a new, digital route for physical and sexual covictimization.

Keywords

Sexting; Sexting coercion; Intimate partner violence; Mental health; Trauma; Young adults

Disciplines

Psychology

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