The U.S. Department of Justice has called “sextortion” the most important and fastest-growing cyberthreat to children, with more minor victims per offender than all other child sexual exploitation offenses.
Sextortion is the threatened dissemination of explicit, intimate, or embarrassing images of a sexual nature without consent. It is usually for the purpose of getting more images, sexual acts, money or something else.
Sextortion in children made headlines in 2012 with the suicide of 15-year-old Amanda Todd from British Columbia. After years of online stalking, public humiliation, and cyberbullying associated with sextortion, she took her own life.
Despite increased public interest in sextortion, there have been no studies to empirically examine this behavior among adolescents.
Now, researchers from Florida Atlantic University and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire have completed a study that explored sextortion prevalence behaviors among a nationally representative sample of 5,568 middle and high school students in the U.S. between the ages