The Depiction of Sexuality Among University Students on Snapchat

R. Andrew Yockey, Keith A. King, Rebecca Vidourek, Michelle Burbage, Ashley Merianos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-141
Number of pages10
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Mar 2019


  • Sexual behavior
  • Snapchat
  • Social media


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