PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractMany factors affect third party rater's blame attribution in sexually coercive scenarios. This study specifically examines different factors that affect college student's perceptions of sexual coercion. Victim and perpetrator's current intoxication and past with alcohol abuse were manipulated. Participants' own drinking behavior, gender and their past with sexual assault, through victimization and perpetration, was also examined. Results found significant gender differences with males being more likely to rate the victim as responsible and less likely to rate the scenario as coercive or a crime. Past victimization was significantly correlated with being more likely to rate the situation as coercive and less likely to rate the victim as responsible. These findings are consistent with previous literature. The alcohol manipulations were not significant, an inconsistency with past literature. This may be due to a normalized binge drinking culture at the university, leading participants to not perceive their high alcohol consumption as problematic. There were additionally 43% of participants who reported unwanted sexual contact, with 22.8% reporting rape victimization. These numbers are consistent with the proportions found in larger samples. To lower victimization, universities should incorporate sexual assault education into freshman orientation as well as the Greek life community, clubs and sports teams.
Degree ProgramHonors College