Method: To investigate these aims, we surveyed heterosexual college students (N = 1,982; 63% non-HL white, 21% non-HL black, and 9% Hispanic/Latino; 53% female) on a range of risk factors: (1) Gender-based violence victimization-which included lifetime forced sexual assault, coerced sexual assault, or a variety of intimate partner violence experiences; (2) Frequency of pornography used alone over the last 12-months; and (3) use of the social media/dating app Tinder.
Results: Those who engaged in consensual sexting (sending a nude or semi-nude image to someone else via social media, app, or text) were more likely to be female, have experienced gender-based violence, be in a relationship, use pornography and tinder, and less likely to participate in team sports, particularly if female. Those who engaged in non-consensual sexting (posting a nude image or video of someone to social media without their consent, or visiting a secret social media “slut page”) were more likely to be male, use pornography and Tinder, participate in a fraternity or sorority, and participate in team sports, especially if male.
Conclusions: Participation in consensual versus non-consensual sexting varies by gender, athletic and Greek Life participation, as well as sexual media use. Our findings are consistent with prior research on predictors of sexual violence perpetration. Thus, sexual assault prevention programming should address nonconsensual sexting as a means of aggression. Prevention programming should also include sexting education as a means of increasing engagement and relevancy of media literacy and sexuality education programing for digital native youth in a post #MeToo era.