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Title: From 'Friends with Benefits' to 'Sextortion:' A Nuanced Investigation of Adolescents' Online Sexual Risk Experiences
Sexual exploration is a natural part of adolescent development; yet, unmediated internet access has enabled teens to engage in a wider variety of potentially riskier sexual interactions than previous generations, from normatively appropriate sexual interactions to sexually abusive situations. Teens have turned to online peer support platforms to disclose and seek support about these experiences. Therefore, we analyzed posts (N=45,955) made by adolescents (ages 13--17) on an online peer support platform to deeply examine their online sexual risk experiences. By applying a mixed methods approach, we 1) accurately (average of AUC = 0.90) identified posts that contained teen disclosures about online sexual risk experiences and classified the posts based on level of consent (i.e., consensual, non-consensual, sexual abuse) and relationship type (i.e., stranger, dating/friend, family) between the teen and the person in which they shared the sexual experience, 2) detected statistically significant differences in the proportions of posts based on these dimensions, and 3) further unpacked the nuance in how these online sexual risk experiences were typically characterized in the posts. Teens were significantly more likely to engage in consensual sexting with friends/dating partners; unwanted solicitations were more likely from strangers and sexual abuse was more likely when a family member was involved. We contribute to the HCI and CSCW literature around youth online sexual risk experiences by moving beyond the false dichotomy of "safe" versus "risky". Our work provides a deeper understanding of technology-mediated adolescent sexual behaviors from the perspectives of sexual well-being, risk detection, and the prevention of online sexual violence toward youth.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1844881 1827700 2333207
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 32
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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