Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Morten Birk Hansen Mandau

“Snaps”, “screenshots”, and self-blame: A qualitative study of image-based sexual abuse victimization among adolescent Danish girls

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Image-based sexual abuse (IBSA) refers to the nonconsensual production, dissemination or threat of disseminating private sexual images with the use of digital technologies. This study explores adolescent girls’ experiences of IBSA victimization based on a thematic analysis of 157 posts collected from an anonymous online counselling hotline in Denmark. The analysis shows that 104 of the 157 posts describe experiences of IBSA and that the psychological consequences of IBSA are characterized by negative emotions such as fear, worry, sadness, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Furthermore, the analysis shows how the technological affordances of social media applications, such as the taking of screenshots on Snapchat, play an important role in facilitating the IBSA. Lastly, the study shows that 52 of the 104 adolescent girls, who had experienced IBSA, blamed themselves for their victimization, explaining this as a result of their own stupidity, naïveté and poor judgement. These findings are discussed in relation to the gendered victim blaming discourses on youth sexting, which have represented sexting teen girls as naïve and foolish and responsibilized them for the misuse of their images. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and suggestions for future research are presented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Children and Media
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2020

    Research areas

  • Image-based sexual abuse, sexting, adolescents, teen girls, Snapchat, social media, self-blame, victim blaming

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