Sexting in Context: Privacy Norms and Expectations

Amy Adele Hasinoff, Tamara Shepherd


This exploratory study examines young people’s expectations of privacy when they share suggestive photos via mobile phones, also known as sexting. To investigate the social norms regarding privacy in sexting, we used a combination of online surveys and in-person focus groups. By asking participants about various sexting scenarios, we found that a large majority thought that sharing private images was never or rarely OK. Any tolerance our respondents had for privacy violations was dependent on the type of relationship between the sender and the recipient and the method of image sharing (off-line or online). These results suggest that particular technological design strategies and educational interventions could help young people better protect their private images.


sexting, privacy, mobile phones, contextual integrity, youth

Full Text: