From Sexual Media to Unwanted Hookups: The Mediating Influence of College Students' Endorsement of Traditional Heterosexual Scripts, Sexual Self-Concept, and Perceived Peer Norms
AdvisorAubrey, Jennifer Stevens
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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.
AbstractPrevious authors have suggested that reducing rape and sexual assault will require dismantling the rape culture that exists in the U.S. that supports and condones sexual violence against women (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975; Burt, 1980). Sexual media maintain rape culture by frequently portraying rape myths and sexual stereotypes (e.g., Cuklanz, 1999; Ward, 1995), like traditional heterosexual scripts. These portrayals then increase acceptance of these myths and stereotypes in viewers (e.g., Emmers-Sommer, Pauley, Hanzal,& Triplett, 2006; Kahlor & Eastin, 2011). A two-month longitudinal panel survey was conducted to better understand the theoretical mechanisms that may explain how college students' sexual media use may indirectly influence their propensity for engaging in unwanted hookups through their endorsement of traditional heterosexual scripts, sexual self-efficacy, and perceived peer norms. The results were different for men and women. For women, the results suggested that their sexual media diet at Time 1 increased their endorsement of traditional heterosexual scripts at Time 2, their endorsement of traditional heterosexual scripts at Time 1 increased their propensity for engaging in unwanted hookups at Time 2, and their propensity for engaging in unwanted hookups at Time 1 decreased their sexual self-efficacy at Time 2. For men, the results suggested that their sexual media diet at Time 1 decreased their sexual self-efficacy at Time 2 and their perceived peer norms regarding hookups at Time 1 increased their propensity for engaging in unwanted hookups at Time 2. Together the results suggest sexual media may be negatively impacting college students' sexual attitudes and beliefs and their sexual self-efficacy, which may lead them to be more likely to engage in unwanted hookups. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College