Leslie A. Rill

Date of Award

Fall 12-13-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 148 pages)


Sexting -- Social aspects -- Interviews, Young adults -- Sexual behavior -- Interviews, Interpersonal relations in young adults -- Interviews, Sex instruction for youth, Sexual ethics -- Interviews




What is missing from academia and society at large is a more holistic picture of youth sexting. Not adequately understanding youth sexting has stunted previous attempts to effectively educate young people on its potential consequences. As such, the social and legal consequences of sexting gone viral have negatively impacted countless individuals. This study offers a preliminary glimpse of the sexting phenomenon by highlighting the experiences of 20 young people. I explore emergent themes regarding the nature of youth sexting as well as the interrelations amongst privacy, relationships, and sexting. Two distinct forms of sexting emerged from participant narratives, opening the door for more open-minded discussions and social policies cognizant of both the positive and negative outcomes of electronic forms of sexual communication. In general, participant discourse on youth sexting demonstrates a need for more research on the topic as well as updated forms of sexting education in schools and amongst families.

Persistent Identifier