An Exploratory Study of Transactional Sexting Among High School Students

Joris Van Ouytsel, Michel Walrave, Koen Ponnet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to gain more insight into the prevalence and associations of transactional sexting, which refers to the sending of self-made sexually explicit images or videos in exchange for something else. Methods: A survey was conducted among 2,626 high school students (n = 1,530 girls; 58.4% female) aged between 14 and 21 years (M = 16.14; SD = 1.02). We compared youth who engaged in transactional sexting and those who did not for a range of demographic and sexual health variables. Results: Youth who engaged in transactional sexting were more likely to be male, to identify as a sexual minority, to have retaken a year of school, and to be sexually active, than those who did not. We also found associations with sexual risk behaviors. Conclusions: The results highlight the need for future research. Clinicians may screen for sexual health behaviors when counseling youth who have engaged in transactional sexting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-513
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • Sexting
  • Sexual behaviors
  • Transactional sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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