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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Matthew Larson

Abstract

ABSTRACT

IDENTIFYING THE MOTIVATIONS AND CHARACTERISTICS OF UNDERGRADUATES WHO SEXT

by

MACKENZIE BOEHLER

May 2017

Advisor: Dr. Matthew Larson

Major: Criminal Justice

Degree: Master of Science

In recent years, sexting has become a controversial topic among legal scholars and behavioral scientists. Research has displayed varying accounts of the prevalence of sexting among young adults and has yet to answer the question of why. This study seeks to understand the characteristics and motivations of young adults who are involved in sexting. A survey of sexting behaviors was administered online at a large urban university. Identifying the factors and influences for a young adult’s choice to engage in sexting or not can add much insight to this small body of literature. This study found that predominant indicators of sexting are age, religiosity, relationship status, and peer involvement. Additionally, common motivations for sexting include flirtation/romance, sexual reasons, and self-confidence/self-esteem reasons. Results and implications for the study as well as the need for future research are further discussed.

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