This study sought to identify perceptions of and responses to Black adolescent girls' who engaged in the distribution of sexually explicit images, known as sexting, during high school. Reflective individual interviews were conducted with 40 freshman and sophomore Black college women. The results of this study indicate that sexting is a common practice in high school culture and within Black peer groups. Perceptions of reasons why Black adolescent girls engaged in sexting during high school included seeking attention, responding to boys' requests, attempting to fit in, and boredom. The related negative social consequences for Black adolescent girls (e.g., name calling and social avoidance) reinforced traditional sexual gender norms expectations, although some acknowledge the double standards that existed when considering attitudes toward high school boys' sexting. More research is needed to understand why this common behavior has such negative consequences for women, particularly during adolescence.


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pp. 93-115
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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