Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Ortiz, Rebecca R.
college students, cultivation theory, sexual consent, sexual health communication, sexual violence prevention, social media
Communication | Mass Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Sexual assault remains a prevalent issue on college campuses across the United States. Significant research has argued that to reduce the sexual assault rates on college campuses, it is vital to understand the cultural and contextual factors that may affect sexual consent communication between college students. One of these important contextual factors is social media. Social media are a persuasive and influential part of a college student's daily life, especially when it comes to creating and sustaining relationships with others. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand how college students may use social media to interpret a person's willingness to engage in sexual activity, and how such interpretations relate to their attitudes and intentions to engage in consent communication. To examine these relationships, this dissertation was guided by the theories of miscommunication, cultivation, and the integrated behavioral model. A sample of college students (N=954) from across the United States completed an online survey asking about their exposure to sexualized and party-related content on social media, belief in "social media consent myths," and their attitudes and intentions to engage in sexual consent communication. Results indicated that the more college students reported exposure to sexualized and party-related content on social media, the more likely they were to believe in social media consent myths about women and men; however, only social media consent myth beliefs about women were associated with less favorable attitudes and intentions to engage in consent communication. The findings from this dissertation enhance our understanding of how to correct and address misconceptions about sexual consent communication in culturally relevant ways that could be used to inform future sexual violence prevention education campaigns.
Smith, Andrea Marie, "Sexual Consent on Social Media: How College Students' Exposure to Sexualized and Party-related Content on Social Media Relates to Their Sexual Consent Beliefs, Attitudes, and Intentions" (2021). Dissertations - ALL. 1515.