How College Students Interpret and Use Social Media as a Source of Sexual Consent Communication

Sponsor: Health Communication Division
Sat, 11/19: 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM CST
Room: Napoleon Ballroom D3 - 3rd Floor 
This study investigated how social media use, specifically exposure to and posting of sexualized and party-related content on social media and interpretations of that content as sexual consent communication, related to college students' intentions to engage in sexual consent communication. A national sample of U.S. college students (N=954) completed the relevant measures in an online survey. Results indicated that the more college students reported exposure to sexualized and party-related content on social media, the more likely they were to report posting similar content and believe in harmful consent myths (i.e., that a person's sexual consent can be assumed by looking at their social media profiles). Exposure to and posting sexualized and party-related content were also related to lesser intentions to engage in consent communication. These findings provide evidence for the importance of considering social media use in how college students understand sexual consent and should inform future sexual consent education.


Andrea Marie Smith, California State University Bakersfield  - Contact Me


Rebecca Ortiz, Syracuse University  - Contact Me