Barrense-Dias, Yara, Christina Akre, Joan-Carles Suris, & André Berchtold (2020, February, in press). Opinions of adolescents on prevention related to sexting: A Q-methodology study. Sexuality Research and Social Policy. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1007/s13178-020-00431-3) (Link:

Abstract: Introduction. Sexting has attracted the interest of researchers, media, and public opinion, but its definition still does not reach consensus. This gap may lead to diverging prevention messages. This study investigated the opinions of adolescents on a set of sexting-related preventive measures. Methods. In 2018, 48 adolescents (27 females) aged 13 to 18 years participated in the study. To assess opinions of adolescents on sexting-related prevention, we conducted a Q-methodology study, a mixed methods research, in Lausanne (Canton of Vaud, Switzerland). The final Q-set constituted 58 statements reflecting a wide range of key messages, key actors, and materials. Each participant was asked to rank-order the 58 cards using a grid ranging from − 5 (completely disagree) to + 5 (completely agree). Results. Five different profiles of considering sexting-related prevention were identified: Focus on consequences, sex education, and testimonies, focus on guidelines, focus on training/information, and peer prevention. The typical scenario used in many prevention campaigns illustrating a girl who is victim of a non-consensual sharing perpetrated by a boy was not appreciated. The topic of the Internet was not considered an appropriate gateway to discuss sexting. Pressure and bullying issues as topics to discuss in a sexting-related prevention were the most consensual statements. Conclusions. This study highlighted the need to offer a multi-disciplinary, multi-resource and multi-concept approach in sexting-related prevention. Broader values such as respect and consent must be integrated. Consensual sexting must be clearly differentiated from non-consensual dissemination. Policy implications and future directions, including prevention strategies, are discussed.

Yara Barrense-Dias <> is in the Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisante), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.