Date of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Melissa Fallone


sexual assault, sex education, victim blaming, rape prevention, consent, religiosity

Subject Categories

Health Psychology | Social Psychology


Although schools in the United States primarily present abstinence only or comprehensive sex education programs, neither of these programs discuss the topic of sexual consent. In addition, these programs reinforce negative ideologies regarding rape-myths and victim blaming. The purpose of the current study is to determine if the prior type of sex education effects participants’ beliefs in rape-myth acceptance, sexism, willingness to help, and importance of consent, and if the sex education priming effects the participants’ likelihood to victim blame, express victim empathy, and their bystander behavior. The data reflected that those participants who received abstinence only sexual education did report higher rape culture adherence in victim blaming, rape-myth acceptance, and hostile and benevolent sexism (p < .05) compared to those students who received comprehensive sex education. These findings have implications for both sex education and rape prevention programming. They also indicate that more research is needed in this area.


© Logan J. Griffin

Open Access