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Contingent impression management in sexual disclosure by older adolescents corresponding in cyberspace: The role of gender dyads

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Abstract:

The aim of this research was to investigate whether adolescents' willingness to correspond with cyber friends who had disclosed information about their own sexuality differed by the gender composition of correspondent and discloser dyads. The study involved 192 Taiwanese late adolescents, all of whom reported having had sexual self-disclosure experiences in cyberspace. When males received sexual disclosure from male correspondents and females received sexual disclosure from female correspondents, they were more likely to exchange information as the topics increased in intimacy, revealing a reciprocal strategy in impression management. Regardless of the intimacy of the topic, males showed a high level of willingness to correspond with a female discloser, revealing a liberal strategy of impression management. In contrast, females were less willing to correspond with male disclosers, revealing a conservative strategy of impression management.

Keywords: ADOLESCENTS; GENDER DIFFERENCES; IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT; INTERNET SEXUALITY; SELF-DISCLOSURE

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2009.37.8.1023

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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