Attitudes, Identification, Decisions to Report, and Bystander Factors Among College Freshman Regarding Sexual Assault
Committee memberDuCette, Joseph P.
Fiorello, Catherine A.
Gross, Steven Jay
Sexual Assault Attitudes
Sexual Assault Identification
Sexual Assault Reporting
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/1419
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractSexual assault has increasingly become a large problem on college and university campuses in the United States. Not only is the frequency of the occurrences problematic, but the lack of reporting, the mishandling of cases, and efforts to stop campus sexual assaults have also garnered a large amount of attention. While many research studies have focused on the effectiveness of educational programs aimed to increase awareness, reporting, and prevention of sexual assault among college students, not many studies have examined if students’ abilities to identify sexual assaults in contextual situations and their attitudes regarding sexual assault are affected by these programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate if students entered college with attitudes that are supportive of sexual assault, the ability of first-semester college freshman to identify sexual assault within contexts, students’ decision to report a perceived sexual assault, the likelihood that students would intervene as a bystander, and demographics related to student attitudes toward, identification of, and decisions to report sexual assaults. Participants in this study were 551 freshmen in their first-semester at Temple University, who were 18 or 19 years of age. Participants completed a survey which consisted of demographic questions, 11 original vignettes depicting potential sexual assault scenarios, the updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance (IRMA) scale, and the Type T personality questionnaire. Results revealed that about one-third of students surveyed did not completely disagree with sexual assault-supportive statements on the updated IRMA scale, with the He Didn’t Mean To and She Lied attitudes being the most popularly endorsed. Students who endorsed sexual assault-supportive attitudes were significantly more likely to misidentify an instance of sexual assault and to not report a perceived sexual assault in some scenarios. In regards to demographics, males were more likely than females to endorse sexual assault-supportive attitudes, to misidentify sexual assaults, to not report a perceived sexual assault in some scenarios, and they were less likely than females to intervene as a bystander in a sexual assault scenario. Sexuality and ethnic identification had some effect on attitudes endorsed and ethnic identity had an effect on the decision to report a sexual assault in two specific scenarios. In addition, the type of high school students attended and the types of sexual education topics they were educated on prior to college were significantly linked to attitudes endorsed, and the type of high school students attended was significantly linked to identifying instances of sexual assault. The growing issue of campus sexual assault is represented by the amount of students in this study who cannot correctly identify sexual assault situations, by the attitudes that contribute to the occurrences of sexual assault, and by the reasons why students feel sexual assault scenarios should not be reported. The significant relationship between endorsing attitudes and incorrectly identifying sexual assaults, as well as the decision to not report perceived sexual assaults, supports the potentially harmful effects having an attitude that essentially supports sexual assault can have in society. Prevention efforts need to address the root of a problem, which in this case is a culture where sexual assault, largely against women, is excused, dismissed, and subsequently deemed acceptable. Thus, adolescents should be educated and provided with appropriate messaging on topics related to sexual assault well before they enter college.
ADA complianceFor Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accommodation, including help with reading this content, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Social and Genetic Networks of HIV-1 Transmission in New York CityWertheim, JO; Kosakovsky Pond, SL; Forgione, LA; Mehta, SR; Murrell, B; Shah, S; Smith, DM; Scheffler, K; Torian, LV; Pond, Sergei L. Kosakovsky|0000-0003-4817-4029 (2017-01-01)© 2017 Wertheim et al. Background: Sexually transmitted infections spread across contact networks. Partner elicitation and notification are commonly used public health tools to identify, notify, and offer testing to persons linked in these contact networks. For HIV-1, a rapidly evolving pathogen with low per-contact transmission rates, viral genetic sequences are an additional source of data that can be used to infer or refine transmission networks. Methods and Findings: The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene interviews individuals newly diagnosed with HIV and elicits names of sexual and injection drug using partners. By law, the Department of Health also receives HIV sequences when these individuals enter healthcare and their physicians order resistance testing. Our study used both HIV sequence and partner naming data from 1342 HIV-infected persons in New York City between 2006 and 2012 to infer and compare sexual/drug-use named partner and genetic transmission networks. Using these networks, we determined a range of genetic distance thresholds suitable for identifying potential transmission partners. In 48% of cases, named partners were infected with genetically closely related viruses, compatible with but not necessarily representing or implying, direct transmission. Partner pairs linked through the genetic similarity of their HIV sequences were also linked by naming in 53% of cases. Persons who reported high-risk heterosexual contact were more likely to name at least one partner with a genetically similar virus than those reporting their risk as injection drug use or men who have sex with men. Conclusions: We analyzed an unprecedentedly large and detailed partner tracing and HIV sequence dataset and determined an empirically justified range of genetic distance thresholds for identifying potential transmission partners. We conclude that genetic linkage provides more reliable evidence for identifying potential transmission partners than partner naming, highlighting the importance and complementarity of both epidemiological and molecular genetic surveillance for characterizing regional HIV-1 epidemics.
Making Sense of Change: Sexuality Transformation at MidlifeEricksen, Julia A., 1941-; Delaney, Kevin; Grasmuck, Sherri; Goode, Judith, 1939- (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)This research examines the sense-making activities of women who engage in intimate relationships with women following a significant period of heterosexual marriage. Using data gathered through interviews with 36 women, the study explores how subjects use common cultural ideas about sexuality to frame the stories they tell to explain their sexual histories. The idea that sexuality is something one is born with, rather than a choice is on the rise in the United States. This essentialist view in conjunction with cultural ideas about the timing at which sexuality is supposed to emerge implies that people should be "aware" of their sexuality at adolescence. For many of the women in the study that "normal" timing was not the case. In addition to the essentialist supposition is the notion the sexuality is binary. One is either heterosexual or one is the particular type of person known as the homosexual, a construct created in the 19th century that continues to be an important part of modern understandings of sexuality. Women who have spent significant time as heterosexuals and go on to have intimate relationships with women must contend with these cultural understandings as they try to make sense to themselves of a sexual story that seems to lie outside the bounds of that hegemonic narrative. Using modified grounded theory to analyze the collected interviews, four story types emerged. These four story types evinced different levels and types of commitment to the views of sexuality that exist in both the mainstream culture and the gay and lesbian community. They include "Always Knew" and "Retrospective" stories, which demonstrated a close commitment to the dominant narrative. The other two types - "Shifter" stories and "Left Fielder" stories - were more loosely connected to the ideas of essential and binary sexuality. As these stories emerged additional insights were provided in the form of the women's discussions of the impact of the social world in terms of lesbian invisibility, lesbian imagery, homophobia, and group or individual support for telling certain types of stories and/or taking on a lesbian identity. This study builds on, and adds to, scholarship in a number of areas. These include: narrative and identity; the social construction of sexuality; the changing nature of biography as people strive to make the past make sense of the present; and the influence of hegemonic cultural ideas in important areas of social and personal life. Additionally the study provides some insight into how heterosexuality is both a "goes without saying" sexuality route as well as a sometimes problematic achievement.
Development of the Student Sexual Health and Wellbeing QuestionnaireAngel Adaros, Ada Esperanza (Temple University. Libraries, 2021)While university can be an exciting opportunity for sexual exploration, many young adults come into this experience with inadequate or inconsistent sexual health education and knowledge, and consequently experience negative sexual health outcomes. Universities can play an important role in providing resources that support students’ sexual health and wellbeing, however, this requires meaningful assessment of the students’ needs. Current measures for young adult sexual health and wellbeing are underdeveloped; often too narrow, biomedical, and outdated in their language, existing measures are not meaningful nor are they inclusive. The main objectives of this study were to (a) develop a revised, comprehensive definition of young adult sexual health and wellbeing, and (b) develop a meaningful, relevant measure for sexual health and wellbeing that could provide insight into university students’ needs. The questionnaire development process included creating an original measure for student sexual health, and a pilot study to assess the validity and reliability of the measure. The participants of the pilot study included a sample of 75 students from a small, private international university in Tokyo, Japan. Inter-item reliability analysis was used to assess the reliability for appropriate subscales, while all data was assessed for trends in participants’ experiences. The results of the inter-item reliability showed adequate to good reliability across all relevant subscales. Results showed that most students had received sexual health education during their schooling prior to entering university, and that outside of schooling the internet was, and continues to be, a primary source for sexual health information. While most students reported confidence in expressing consent, notably fewer felt confident with withdrawing consent. Regarding methods of sexual protection, students overwhelming showed comfortability with using condoms, yet were commonly unsure about using any other methods of sexual protection. Finally, while the majority of students acknowledged their sexual experiences affecting their emotional wellbeing, they much less commonly felt comfortable seeking related emotional supported when needed. Results of this study support previous research that the internet is a significant source of sexual health information, and support the benefit of utilizing a comprehensive definition for sexual health and wellbeing. They also provide key insight into directions of improvements that universities can take to provide support for their students’ sexual health. Provided the limited sample size of this study and the limited cross-cultural relevance for this measure, future research should continue include larger samples and consider adapting the measure to be specifically relevant for various cultural backgrounds.