Date of Thesis

5-11-2016

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

William F. Flack Jr.

Abstract

Campus sexual assault is a chronic health and justice crisis. Although much is known about prevalence rates of U.S. campus sexual assault victimization and their association with alcohol consumption among students, little research has been devoted to understanding other cultural contextual factors in this domain. In the present study, a random sample of 583 undergraduate students at Bucknell University responded to an anonymous web-based survey, which included the Revised Sexual Experiences Survey (RSES; Koss et al., 2007). This measure examines sexual assault victimization prevalence and perpetrator tactics. The survey also included a measure designed by the Bucknell Sexual Assault Research Team, which examines "codes of silence" within Bucknell student groups. This measure was used to examine whether there are pressures on Bucknell students to not report their peers' illegal or untoward behavior, and if these pressures have a relationship with sexual assault victimization. The survey also contained a conformity measure (Mehrabian et. al, 1995). Correlational analyses found that silencing has a statistically significant relationship with conformity, but not with sexual assault victimization. Explanations of this finding are discussed. Further research is needed to determine why rates of reporting sexual assault victimization remain low, and how barriers to reporting can be addressed.

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