“STUDY OBJECTIVE: Sexual reference display on a social networking web site (SNS) is associated with self-reported sexual intention; females are more likely to display sexually explicit content on SNSs. The purpose of this study was to investigate male college students’ views towards sexual references displayed on publicly available SNSs by females. DESIGN: Focus groups. SETTING: One large state university. PARTICIPANTS: Male college students age 18-23. INTERVENTIONS: All tape recorded discussion was fully transcribed, then discussed to determine thematic consensus. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A trained male facilitator asked participants about views on sexual references displayed on SNSs by female peers and showed examples of sexual references from female’s SNS profiles to facilitate discussion. RESULTS: A total of 28 heterosexual male participants participated in seven focus groups. Nearly all participants reported using Facebook to evaluate potential female partners. Three themes emerged from our data. First, participants reported that displays of sexual references on social networking web sites increased sexual expectations. Second, sexual reference display decreased interest in pursuing a dating relationship. Third, SNS data was acknowledged as imperfect but valuable. CONCLUSION: Females who display sexual references on publicly available SNS profiles may be influencing potential partners’ sexual expectations and dating intentions. Future research should examine females’ motivations and beliefs about displaying such references and educate women about the potential impact of these sexual displays.”
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