Event Title

Prevalence and Common Themes of Sexual Posts on High School Facebook Confession Pages

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2015 3:30 PM

Student's Major

Psychology

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Kathy Bertsch

Mentor's Email Address

kathy.bertsch@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Psychology

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Second Mentor's Name

Rachel Burlet

Second Mentor's Department

Psychology

Second Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

Facebook high school confession pages are places where students can anonymously post their thoughts and opinions to be viewed by others. The nature of anonymous social media is a cause of concern as it creates an open forum free from personal identity for teens to voice their interests and opinions, which are often of a sexual nature. While these concerns have been highlighted in media coverage and survey research, little research has been done to formally examine the content of these pages. The purpose of this study is to examine both the prevalence and nature of sexual posts on these pages. An archival data set gathered from the posts on 10 U.S. high school confession pages over a two-month period was used for analysis in this study (Bertsch, Burlet and Conrad(2014)). Posts (N=1559) were coded as either containing sexual language or not. Posts that were found to have sexual content were then classified as being either about the author’s sexuality, the sexuality of somebody other than the author, the sexuality of both the author and another party, or as using sexual language solely as profanity. Posts with terms used to refer to sexual orientation were also examined to determine if these terms were being used correctly. Results of this study will give an indication as to how prevalent sexual posts are on anonymous social media as well as the degree to which sexual harassment/sexual bullying is occurring on teen focused anonymous social media.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:30 PM

Prevalence and Common Themes of Sexual Posts on High School Facebook Confession Pages

CSU Ballroom

Facebook high school confession pages are places where students can anonymously post their thoughts and opinions to be viewed by others. The nature of anonymous social media is a cause of concern as it creates an open forum free from personal identity for teens to voice their interests and opinions, which are often of a sexual nature. While these concerns have been highlighted in media coverage and survey research, little research has been done to formally examine the content of these pages. The purpose of this study is to examine both the prevalence and nature of sexual posts on these pages. An archival data set gathered from the posts on 10 U.S. high school confession pages over a two-month period was used for analysis in this study (Bertsch, Burlet and Conrad(2014)). Posts (N=1559) were coded as either containing sexual language or not. Posts that were found to have sexual content were then classified as being either about the author’s sexuality, the sexuality of somebody other than the author, the sexuality of both the author and another party, or as using sexual language solely as profanity. Posts with terms used to refer to sexual orientation were also examined to determine if these terms were being used correctly. Results of this study will give an indication as to how prevalent sexual posts are on anonymous social media as well as the degree to which sexual harassment/sexual bullying is occurring on teen focused anonymous social media.

Recommended Citation

Fast, Christopher. "Prevalence and Common Themes of Sexual Posts on High School Facebook Confession Pages." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/poster_session_B/36