Sexting and risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students in Botswana: An exploratory study

Obakeng L. Makgale, Ilse Elisabeth Plattner


Little is known about sexting behaviours among young people living in African countries. This exploratory study investigated sexting behaviours among undergraduate students in Botswana (N = 309, 64.5% female; mean age = 20.3 years). Most participants (84.8%) had received sexts and many (61.8%) had sent sexts at least once in their lifetime. Reasons for sending sexts were to flirt (42.9%), to have fun (24.6%), and/or to initiate sexual activity (17.8%). Only 36.7% of the participants were worried about their sexts being forwarded to others, and 30.2% had forwarded sexts to others. Being sexually active (OR = 4.52), drinking alcohol (OR = 2.52), and having a mother with tertiary level education (OR = 0.40) emerged as significant predictors of sending sexts. Among participants who had sexual intercourse at least once in their lifetime (N = 164), an increase in the frequency of sexting was associated with an increase in the number of sexual partners and with sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs. However, sexting behaviours were not associated with unprotected sex. The results are compared with findings from Western countries and discussed with regard to public health care and safe sex education in Botswana.

Bibliographic citation

Makgale, O. L., & Plattner, I. E. (2017). Sexting and risky sexual behaviours among undergraduate students in Botswana: An exploratory study. Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 11(2), article 1. doi:


Botswana; undergraduate students; risky sexual behaviours; sexting; young adults

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