Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Enhancement of sexual boundaries: An online awareness project
by Sisco, Melissa M., Ph.D., The University of Arizona, 2010, 103; 3449476
Abstract (Summary)

Five-hundred forty four students from an urban southwestern University underwent a sexual aggression beliefs and behaviors evaluation and subsequent online intervention. Approximately three-quarters of male and female students experienced a sexual boundary violation during the past year. Though male and female students were equally as likely to experience inappropriate sexual attention and/or contact, female students were significantly more likely to experience attempted and/or completed anal and vaginal rape and significantly most frequently after an explicit verbal indication of objection such as “no.” Less than 10% of persons who experienced or enacted acts that met the legal threshold of a crime reported that the act would be defined as such. Thus, it may be that a large amount of college students are incapable of identifying personal victimizations or that sexually aggressive behavior has become more normative in the typical college sexual escapade. The modalities that were implemented exceeded those previously explored (i.e. lying and manipulating the victim directly) to include the use of technology, bets or dares, sexual scare tactics, and social vengeance. When the mechanisms for sexual aggression were explored, it appeared that aggressors typically acted out due to availability of victims and difficulty controlling their sexual urges, thus, traditional awareness efforts that attempt to alter attitudes in an effort to prevent sexual aggression seem ill-fitted to the college population. However, difficulty discerning objection from consent was associated with an increased risk of victimization, self-blame for victimization, and cognitive justification for aggressive behavior. Personality played a major role in intervention receptivity; students who were conscientious were more capable of changing and sensing personal change. Feeling ‘changed’, being high on Psychopathy, and having pre-set ideas regarding rape myths of the opposite sex or pre-existing difficulties deciphering objection from consent impeded intervention receptivity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Becker, Judith V.
Commitee: Beck, Connie J.A., Figueredo, Aurelio Jose, Mehl, Matthias R., Sbarra, David E.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-B 72/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Public policy
Keywords: College students, Human sexuality, Online awareness, Sexual boundaries
Publication Number: 3449476
ISBN: 978-1-124-56634-4
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