Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

‘Directly in Your Face’: A Qualitative Study on the Sending and Receiving of Unsolicited ‘Dick Pics’ Among Young Adults

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‘Dick pics’ are self-taken pictures of penises sent by men via digital devices such as smartphones. Although the unsolicited sending of dick pics has become an object of public and academic attention, few empirical studies have investigated this phenomenon. Based on data from seven same-sex focus group interviews with young adults this qualitative study explores personal experiences with receiving and sending unsolicited dick pics and collective understandings of this phenomenon. Results show that girls experience unsolicited dick pics as intrusive and see them as misguided attempts at flirting, while boys perceive the sending of dick pics as a way of showing off, complimenting, hooking-up with or getting nude pictures in return from girls. Analyses show how these explanations draw on gendered constructions of heterosexuality and how humorous framings of male nudity serve to both reduce the potential consequences of having dick pics shared and undermine the intimidating experience of receiving them. Results are discussed in relation to research on sexting and suggestions for future research are presented.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSexuality & Culture
ISSN1095-5143
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Jun 2019

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