Sexting can be defined as the exchange of self-made sexual explicit images through the internet and the mobile phone. It is a normal part of sexual communication. However, sexting can be regarded a public health issue, given its associations with several risks, including pressure, unwanted distribution, experiences of extortion, and forms of sexual coercion. Whereas prior research has already investigated these risky forms of sexting among adolescents and college students, research on adults' sexting experiences is only at its infancy. The purpose of the proposed project is to begin to address this crucial gap in our knowledge on sexting among a representative sample of the general adult population, who may not be immune for sexting-related risks.
The proposed project aims to gain an in-depth understanding of sexting behavior among the general adult population by studying the sexting prevalence, (health) correlates, social context, and how adults perceive sexting-related risks using a theory-based survey among a representative sample of 2500 Flemish adults. The survey consists of two parts: 1) a classic survey component and 2) a vignette-study component. The survey component examines the associations of adult sexting on the individual, interpersonal, and community/societal level. The vignette study aims to investigate adults' risk perceptions about several sexting contexts. The proposed project will pave the way for a new line of research and will have strong implications for practice.