Sexuality & Culture

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 132–141 | Cite as

The Depiction of Sexuality Among University Students on Snapchat

  • R. Andrew YockeyEmail author
  • Keith A. King
  • Rebecca Vidourek
  • Michelle Burbage
  • Ashley Merianos
Original Paper


With the ever-increasing popularity in social media use among college students, research is needed to more fully understand the specific content and messaging utilized in specific social media platforms. The purpose of this study was to examine the depiction of sexuality on a Snapchat account aimed at university students. Over a 3-month period, a total of 394 screenshots (“snaps”) involving sexuality were collected and analyzed. Of these snaps, 86.6% displayed a female(s) only, 13.4% displayed a male(s) and female(s), 34.1% showed the individual’s face, 78.0% were considered to be a selfie (‘consensual’), and 22.0% were considered to be photographed by another person and deemed nonconsensual. Results also indicated that 40.1% contained individuals who were nude. The top two most frequently displayed body parts were breasts (36.4%) and buttocks (25.5%). Concerns exist regarding the potential erroneous messaging that is not congruent with social norms surrounding sexuality among the majority of university students. Such information could potentially assist health educators and campus health professionals in ensuring that accurate messages regarding social norms are being received by university students.


Social media Snapchat Sexual behavior 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Health Promotion and Education ProgramUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Cincinnati State UniversityCincinnatiUSA

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