Dear researchers, colleagues, and readers interested in research on cyberspace,
we are delighted to present the special issue of Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace on Internet Sexuality. This special issue marks the end of a process that started in November 2012, almost a year and a half ago. When we launched the call for abstracts in late January 2013, we had titled the special issue “Sexuality and Digital Media” which we believed to be a broader approach to the topic. We hoped that this would generate a somewhat more diverse collection of studies than just those limited to the internet. The response to our call was overwhelming, and we received a much greater number of abstracts than we had ever anticipated. However, when we reviewed these abstracts and subsequently the full papers, we realized that each could fit within the topic of Internet Sexuality. With the benefit of hindsight, we should probably have used this title in our call for abstracts as some relevant and interesting studies may not have been submitted because of our choice to go broader. However, taking risks in social sciences may, by definition, sometimes lead to better results and sometimes not.
From the almost 20 abstracts that were invited to submit full papers, 9 made it all the way to publication (the others that for various reasons did not make it may hopefully be published at a later stage). The articles in this issue represent work from both Europe and North America. We have studies from Sweden, Estonia, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, and the United States (including some cross-cultural collaborations). The topics are diverse, but we believe that we are able to discern a trend towards sexting; sexual interaction/communication online and production of sexual images, and the relation between online sexual behavior and offline sexual behavior. We also notice that the predominantly quantitative work in the field so far has been balanced out and there is a healthy mix between both qualitative and quantitative approaches included in this special issue. We also see some exciting and new methods of using technology to collect data and to understand internet sexuality. In our opinion this issue takes us to the research front and displays the current “state-of-science” in the field of internet sexuality. Perhaps the use of “big data” which is already out there in cyberspace and which grows on a daily basis will help us expand and understand human sexuality in the future.
Please read whole editorial here.
Anna Sevcikova & Kristian Daneback, guest editors
Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace