Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Fall 9-21-2022

Publication Title

Sexuality & Culture




College of Humanities and Fine Arts


"Raunch culture" is a term describing the promotion of overtly sexual representations of women. This concept may provide people opportunities to engage in positive social comparisons, but also negative social comparisons. As such, this concept could also relate to the phenomenology of depression in women. In an attempt to further investigate the effects of raunch culture, this study examined relationships between raunch culture, depression, and social media use in undergraduate students. Participants (N = 199) from a moderately-sized university in the Midwest completed measures of raunch culture, depression, social comparison, and social media use via an online platform. Primary hypotheses centered around the impact of raunch culture on depressive symptoms, as well as other variables such as social comparison and social media behaviors and their involvement regarding the relationship between endorsement of raunch culture and depression. Findings suggest that students with greater depressive symptoms were more likely to be accepting of behaviors associated with raunch culture, and that this effect may be more prominent in women. Results also indicate that raunch culture may be associated with an unfolding pathway, wherein endorsement of these features is associated with more intense consumption of social media, which in turn can lead to higher rates of social comparison and ultimately affect depressive symptoms. Future research may benefit from examining raunch culture and social media involvement in the context of other important psychosocial variables.


This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review (when applicable) and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at:

Included in

Psychology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.