Date of Thesis

2014

Thesis Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science

First Advisor

William F. Flack, Jr.

Keywords

Sexual assault, Study abroad, College students

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the risk of sexual assault for female undergraduates who chose to study abroad compared to their risk for staying on campus. This context has not been sufficiently examined for risk of sexual assault, which would seem useful given the high numbers associated with campus sexual assault (one in four, Koss et al., 1987; one in five, Fisher, Daigle, & Cullen, 2010). An on campus sample (n=324) of females responded to behaviorally specific questions concerning unwanted, nonconsensual sexual experiences during a single academic year. Their results were compared to an off campus sample (n=141) who responded to the same questions in relation to the semester they studied abroad. Almost 17% of the on campus sample and about 8% from the off campus sample reported an attempted rape or rape. When compared on the basis of a single semester students on and off campus reported the same number of attempted rape or rape experiences. These findings indicate that undergraduate females maintain a high-risk level of more severe sexual assault experiences regardless of location.

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