Why women avoid sexting: Mediating role of depression and guilt

Siraj Hussain, Rongting Zhou, Ahmad Siddiquei, Muhammad Azfar Anwar, Fahad Asmi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Sexting is a challenging cyber psychological phenomenon in today’s digital world. This challenge especially resonates among women, as they face severe pressures from social, psychological, and technological fronts, thus pulling them away from getting involved in the phenomenon. The current research initiative adopted the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and underlined the role of guilt and depression driven by the fear of social exclusion (as a social influence), gymnophobic attitude, and fear of being scammed (as a deficiency in IT self-efficacy) as exogenous factors to measure its position in mapping women’s intentions to avoid sexting (in the hypothetical scenario). The study used convenience sampling to draw 472 (women) respondents from Pakistan with the mean age of 29 years old to measure the socio-psycho-techno-driven fears and their relationship with the mediating variables of depression and guilt. This information was used to map out the intentions to avoid sexting among women. The study found that social threat was the most significant construct, and depression was twice as influential as guilt in mapping women’s intentions to avoid sexting. The study suggested that if women engaged in sexting, gymnophobic attitude and the social threat posed challenges for their psychological well-being. Moreover, the threat of being scammed as a factor needs to be more effectively communicated in society to map intentions to avoid its related challenges in sexting victimization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14132-14146
Number of pages15
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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