Assessing image-based sexual abuse: Measurement, prevalence, and temporal stability of sextortion and nonconsensual sexting (“revenge porn”) among adolescents

Manuel Gámez-Guadix, Estibaliz Mateos-Pérez, Sebastian Wachs, Michelle Wright, Jone Martínez, Daniel Íncera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Introduction: The aim of this study is to develop a new measure of victimization and perpetration of two frequent forms of image-based sexual abuse, namely sextortion (i.e., the threat of distributing sexual images to pressure the victim into doing something) and nonconsensual sexting (i.e., distributing sexual images of someone without the consent of the victim). Additional aims were to analyze the prevalence of these forms of victimization and perpetration and to examine their temporal stability over a 1-year period. Methods: The sample was made up of 1820 Spanish adolescents (mean age = 13.38, SD = 1.42; 929 girls, 878 boys, 3 nonbinary, and 10 did not indicate gender) who completed self-report instruments on image-based sexual abuse and related variables (e.g., cyberbullying victimization). Results: Confirmatory factor analysis supported a structure composed of the four hypothesized factors: sextortion victimization and perpetration, and nonconsensual sexting victimization and perpetration. Higher sexting, cyberbullying victimization, and symptoms of depression and anxiety had stronger associations with image-based sexual victimization than with perpetration, which showed evidence of concurrent validity. Prevalence was 2.6% and 0.7% for sextortion victimization and perpetration, respectively, and 3.4% and 4.9% for nonconsensual sexting victimization and perpetration, respectively. Temporal stability over 1 year was.26 for sextortion victimization,.19 for nonconsensual sexting victimization,.33 for nonconsensual sexting perpetration (all ps <.001), and nonsignificant for sextortion perpetration. The stability of nonconsensual sexting victimization was significantly higher for girls compared to boys, whereas nonconsensual sexting perpetration was more stable over 1 year for boys. Conclusions: Future studies must advance the analysis of the predictors and consequences of image-based sexual abuse among adolescents to better prevent this problem. Prevalence of sextortion and nonconsensual sexting is not negligible, and these problems should be particularly addressed in prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)789-799
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Adolescence
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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