Date of Graduation

Spring 2017

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

David Zimmerman

Keywords

sexual assault, rape myth acceptance, victim blame, perpetrator blame, haven, gender, reporting rates

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to study the effect of a university-mandated sexual assault prevention program-Haven: Understanding Sexual Assault-on college students' judgments of three different rape vignettes (Stranger Rape, Acquaintance Rape, Acquaintance Rape with Intoxication), and overall rape myth acceptance. A sample of 490 participants who either had or had not completed Haven training participated in the study, and each participant was also randomly assigned to read either a brief summary of the Haven training or a control paragraph before judging the vignettes. Gender was also treated as an independent variable due to robust evidence of gender differences in rape myth acceptance and victim-blaming. Participants assigned more blame to victims of acquaintance rape, less blame to the perpetrators, and were less likely to recommend those victims report the incident than the victim of a stranger rape. The account of a stranger rape was the vignette most likely to be labeled rape by participants. Men assigned more blame to victims than women when the vignette contained fewer stereotypical features of rape. Men also endorsed more rape myths overall. Neither the actual Haven training nor the brief Haven summary were significant predictors of any judgments. Future research efforts should focus on obtaining a more representative no-Haven control, as confounding variables make it difficult to interpret the null effects.

Copyright

© Katerina M. Oberdieck

Open Access

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