Technology and dating abuse
Mirroring the increase in youth accessing and using technology, the number of youth between ages 10 and 17 in 2005 who indicated they had been involved in cyberbullying was twice the number who had reported involvement in 1999-2000.
Sexting is defined in a number of different ways, but is “most commonly used to describe the creation and transmission of sexual images by minors” through technologies such as cell phones and the Internet.
A second study looking at arrest rates for sexting found that in cases of youth-produced sexual images (youth 17 and under) handled by law enforcement, there are often “aggravating” circumstances (e.g., adult involvement or a minor involved in malicious, non-consensual, or abusive behavior) beyond the creation of and dissemination of sexual images.
Initial information gathered from interviews with 56 young adults (aged 18 to 21) who experienced teen dating violence suggests that technology plays an important role in intimate relationships, providing a new space for perpetration of a range of teen dating violence behaviors and influencing the privacy, autonomy, and safety of youth in relationships.
In addition, a number of surveys and heightened media concern has focused on sexting.
Technology can also be used by partners to embarrass their significant others by making it possible for partner to details or their relationship online.
Further, the study found that arrests are unlikely in sexting cases when adults are not involved.
Inconsistencies in prevalence reports are likely to be due to the various measures and methods used to investigate this phenomenon, however; this leads to difficulties when attempting to make accurate comparisons and generalizations.Estimates of the number of youth who have been victims of electronic aggression and cyberbullying vary from 9 to 43 percent, depending on the definition of electronic aggression/cyberbullying used and the time period that youth are reporting about.The relationship between electronic aggression and teen dating violence has not been widely explored.Marriage and family therapist Marty Klein is less concerned about kids sharing intimate photos with their partners than he about how some are misusing those images."Take the sex out of sexting and what you have is a betrayal of trust," Klein said.There is growing concern about electronic aggression—or cyberbullying—defined as any type of harassment or bullying (teasing, telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumors, or making threatening or aggressive comments) that occurs through e-mail, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), text messaging, and videos or pictures posted on websites or sent through cell phones.