Date of Thesis

2011

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Bill Flack

Keywords

sexual assault, female

Abstract

National studies indicate that approximately 25 percent of women have been sexually assaulted by the time they finish college. Although male peers are often the perpetrators, women also engage in behaviors with their female peers that may increase the risk of sexualassault. In the present study, we sought to determine how often college women engaged in these behaviors (i.e. “female facilitation”). Participants were 373 female students (sophomorethrough senior; Greek and independent) who completed an online survey containing measures of sexual assault, alcohol consumption, and female facilitation. The female facilitation measure indexed both “facilitator” behaviors (those directed toward others thatlikely increase the risk of sexual assault victimization) and “facilitatee” behaviors (those that may increase risk of sexual assault victimization), and the two sets of items werecounterbalanced across participants. Descriptive statistics showed an overall prevalence rate for any type of sexual assault was 44.2%. Scores on the facilitator and facilitatee versions ofthe female facilitation measure were highly correlated. Facilitation was highly correlated with alcohol consumption, and being a faciltatee was moderately correlated with sexual assault. Results were consistent with some of our expectations regarding the relationships among facilitation, alcohol consumption, sexual assault, and demographic variables. Limitations of the methods and the implications of the findings for understanding campussexual assault will be discussed.

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