Date of Award

Spring 4-29-2015

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John Yost

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Jones

Abstract

Sexual assault is a serious, traumatic incident that is all too common on college campuses. Following the ordeal, those who are assaulted are often blamed. Victim blame occurs when the victim, rather than the perpetrator of a crime, is held at least partially responsible for the crime. This study seeks to determine the values that lead to victim-blaming behavior. After responding to the Ambivalent Sexism Scale, Belief in a Just World Measure, Sexual Script Scale, and Updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, participants read a vignette depicting an encounter where an individual was not physically able to consent to a sexual act. Participants were then asked the proportion of blame placed on the victim and perpetrator and if the event was considered rape. There were no differences in victim blaming behavior and determination of rape between men and women, but high rape myth acceptance and hostile sexism increased victim blame and decreased certainty that the event described was rape.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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