University of Leicester
Walker et al JIV Final Submission_Accepted_07_05_19.pdf (353.51 kB)
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Non-consensual sharing of private sexually explicit media amongst university students

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posted on 2019-05-08, 11:52 authored by Kate Walker, Emma Sleath, Ruth M. Hatcher, Benjamin Hine, Rebecca L. Crookes
This research was the first in the U.K. to examine the prevalence and nature of non-consensual sharing of sexually explicit messages, pictures, and videos and to examine if this varies according to gender and by role (i.e. perpetrator, victim or as dual role of perpetrator/victim). In a sample of 391 young adults (aged 18-25 years) questionnaire data on subjective norms, consensual and non-consensual sharing, and their motivations for these behaviors were collected. Perpetration of and victimization through non-consensual sharing was experienced by a substantial number of individuals. There was an association between reporting perpetration of non-consensual sharing and experiencing victimization. An association was also found between reporting being pressured (i.e., coerced) to send sexually explicit material and experiencing victimization of non-consensual sharing, which suggests that these behaviours may form part of a continuum of violence and abuse, potentially within intimate relationships. No association was found between gender and (i) perpetration or (ii) victimization. However, from a gendered perspective, females perceived there was greater social pressure to post messages, pictures and videos, compared with males. Motivations for non-consensual sharing were commonly explained as for fun/a joke, and generally not thought of as problematic, although some victims perceived motivations to be more negative and/or related to revenge/causing distress. Given that this research examined non-consensual sharing across messages, pictures and videos for both victimization and perpetration and found it was both perpetrated and experienced by females and males, this does not support the common perception that this is a male perpetrated behaviour against women. This has implications for education, policy, intervention and prevention, with approaches needing to be inclusive of both males and females when addressing perpetration and victimization.



Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2019

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Journal of Interpersonal Violence


SAGE Publications (UK and US)



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