Author

Evans

Date of Award

8-1996

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Dr. Susan Caulfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan Caringella-MacDonald

Third Advisor

Dr. Zoann Snyder-Joy

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

This study examined the effectiveness of Students Talking About Relationships (STAR), a sexual assault peer education program at Western Michigan University. Research has shown sexual assault to be a significant problem on college campuses around the country. In response to this research, many universities have instituted sexual assault programming. Unfortunately, the evaluation of these programs has not been as prevalent as their use. This study was proposed to help fill this gap.

This research used a quasi-experimental design in which students were pretested, exposed to the sexual assault program, and post-tested afterwards. Surveys were compared to evaluate whether there were significant changes in student attitudes after exposure to the program.

Results of this research showed these students to be quite knowledgeable about issues, that there was a significant gender gap in attitudes toward rape, and the program was partially successful in changing student attitudes.

In conclusion, although these students were quite knowledgeable about rape, further work is necessary to address rape supportive beliefs on college campuses.

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