Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The Social Construction of Gender: Attitudes on Sexual Assault
The present research analyzes men and women’s attitudes on sexual assault. The purpose of this research is to examine attitudes to gain understanding about the existence and perpetuation of rape cultures on college campuses. Clearer understanding of students’ attitudes about sexual assault will allow college campuses to create and implement more comprehensive sex education programs. For this study 74 participants from Boise State University who were enrolled in general psychology in the fall semester of 2008 assisted in gathering information. Participants received a survey questioning their personal opinions on sexual assault, sexual coercion and the phenomena of victim blaming. The survey questions were created entirely by the author. These questions were formed from a literature review and pilot tested prior to the experiment. Participants were given 50 minutes to complete a 221-question survey. The questions in Table 1 were part of the larger survey. As the participants completed they were thanked for their service and debriefed. The results were measured using an independent means t test and correlation analysis. The results indicate that there is a positive correlation between men and women’s attitudes on sexual assault, sexual coercion and victim blaming. There is also significant evidence from the results of a lack of understanding by men and women on sexual consent and sexual coercion. This suggests a need for more comprehensive sex education programs. Understanding men’s and women’s attitudes and behaviors in regards to sexual assault provides educators evidence to develop a variety of approaches to educate students about these issues. This studies intention is to expand the research on sexual assault. Creating awareness of gender attitudes is critical in reducing the existence of rape cultures on college campuses.