The Role of Sexual Subjectivity and Peer Influences on Sexting Consequences Among Adolescent Girls
Sexting is increasing among adolescents in the U.S. with some evidence of negative consequences for girls. There is a paucity of studies on the association between girls’ motivations for sexting and sexting consequences. This study assessed the relationships among psychosocial influences, sexting motivations, and positive and negative sexting consequences among U.S. adolescent girls who have sexted boys/men. A national sample of 200 cisgender 14-18-year-old girls attracted to males who had sexted a male recipient at least once in the past year completed an online survey. In addition to demographics and sexual experience, sexting behavioral measures included sexting frequency, recipient, and sexting while using alcohol/drugs. Standardized instruments assessed sexual subjectivity, vulnerability to peer pressure, partner sexting coercion, sexting motivations, and positive and negative consequences. As hypothesized, multiple regression indicated higher sexual subjectivity and sexting for sexual/romantic reasons were positively associated with positive consequences, controlling for sexting frequency and sexual experience. Vulnerability to peer pressure, partner sexting coercion, and lower sexual subjectivity significantly increased negative sexting consequences, controlling for sexual experience and sexting behaviors. Sexting to increase body-image partially accounted for the relationship between sexual subjectivity and negative sexting consequences, and sexting in response to partner coercion partially accounted for the relationship between vulnerability to peer pressure and negative sexting consequences. This study applied an empirical lens to inform public concerns regarding psychosocial correlates and consequences of sexting among girls. The data indicate peer/partner pressure increases negative but does not affect positive consequences, and girls with higher sexual subjectivity report more positive than negative consequences. The results suggest sexting should be framed within normative adolescent sexual development, wherein positive dimensions of sexual behavior such as sexual/relational empowerment are balanced with risks and vulnerabilities like stigma and peer/partner problems.
Developmental psychology|Individual & family studies
Bragard, Elise, "The Role of Sexual Subjectivity and Peer Influences on Sexting Consequences Among Adolescent Girls" (2020). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI27995045.