Social networks and sexual behaviour amongst adolescent females in one secondary school in Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • Charl Alberts University of Fort Hare
  • Jabulani Gilford Kheswa University of Fort Hare
Keywords: Communication, Cyberbullying, Dating, Harassment, Rape.


This paper explores the impact of social network sites on the group of adolescent females’ sexual behaviour attending one secondary school in Fort Beaufort, Eastern Cape, South Africa. It aims at identifying the risks involved in online dating and deleterious effects on the psychological well-being among twelve adolescent females, aged 15 -20 years. This study adopts Spence’s Signaling Theory, Emmerson’ Sexual Exchange Theory and Ajzen and Fishbein’s Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) owing to their successful application in numerous studies on online communication and risky sexual behaviour. A qualitative approach was used in this study and ethical principles were adhered to, during data collection. The findings showed that dating strangers online by adolescents contributed towards being vulnerable to depression, cyberbullying, physical abuse, and sexually transmitted infections. Based on the findings, this study recommends parental emotional support and collaborative approach from the educators and government to curb online dating among female youth

Author Biographies

Charl Alberts, University of Fort Hare
Department of Psychology15
Jabulani Gilford Kheswa, University of Fort Hare
Department of Psychology