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A Qualitative Study of Children, Young People and Sexting

Autor:   •  January 26, 2017  •  Research Paper  •  765 Words (4 Pages)  •  540 Views

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A. Purpose

  1. What was the research study about?

The purpose of this small scale qualitative research was to respond to and enhance our understandings of the complex nature of sexting and the role of mobile technologies within peer teen networks. It was designed as a pilot study to investigate a phenomenon whose nature, scale and dimensions were unknown.

  1. What did the researcher’s hope to learn?

How is ‘sexting’ experienced by young people? What is the nature of the sexually explicit material being shared? If it is peer produced, how is it made, why is it sent, what are young people’s responses to it?

How are experiences of ‘sexting’ gender differentiated? What is the gendered nature of the material, what is it depicting? How does it represent sexuality, girls and boys, masculinity and femininity? What are gendered experiences of ‘harm’?

How do the young people cope with ‘sexting’ experiences in terms of harm, risk, and vulnerability? How does it relate to other aspects of their lives, including bullying, and other sexual activity?


B. Methods

  1. How did the researcher/s carry out their research study?

The study set out as an exploratory inquiry into differently positioned young people’s experiences of ‘sexting’ in the UK. They selected a sample of two schools that would enable research with a broad range of students from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. They gained access to two London schools, School One in North London and School Two in South London.

  1. What did he/she they actually do?

In this study, we move beyond the limitations of both these traditions to an approach that might be called ‘psycho-social-cultural’ – to capture the way in which it pays attention to the different moments of ‘sexualized’ experience in young people’s lives. The study offers a detailed, qualitative exploration of young people’s experiences of ‘sexting’ and of the culture of mobile internet technologies more generally.

  1. How did he/she they select the sample or area?

They selected two schools in the UK that can handle their research because the students have this diverse social and cultural backgrounds so they can handle this research easily.

  1. Why did he/she they use qualitative research?

Our qualitative research was undertaken to explore the nature of sexual communication among young people, using ‘sexting’ as a conceptual starting point. We did not assume that the young people would know what ‘sexting’ was so we broadened our scope to map how they spoke about sexual communication in general with a focus on digital mediums. We also wanted to explore how differently positioned young people responded to various types of digital or sexual online content to discover what was problematic for young people and what coping strategies they may have.


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