Sexting pp 99-118 | Cite as

A Sexting ‘Panic’? What We Learn from Media Coverage of Sexting Incidents

  • Alyce McGovern
  • Murray Lee
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Cyberpsychology book series (PASCY)


This chapter explores media discourses around young people and sexting incidents, with a particular focus on the UK and Australia. Following a review of the literature on media coverage of sexting, the chapter identifies the key themes delineating discussions about young people’s sexting. It then moves on to develop an analysis around a number of case studies to demonstrate the ways in which media identifies risks and moral boundaries around people’s sexting, and the potential influences of this on public debates around young people’s intimate communications. The chapter then reflects on whether these media discourses bear relation to the way in which young people themselves understand sexting behaviours. We conclude by suggesting panic around sexting must be understood in the context of competing discourses around young people and sexual expression.


Sexting Media discourses Sexting epidemic Gender Young people 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alyce McGovern
    • 1
  • Murray Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUNSWSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Sydney Institute of CriminologyThe University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

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