Date Approved

5-5-1998

Embargo Period

8-22-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in School Psychology

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Klanderman, John

Subject(s)

Blame--Moral and ethical aspects; Personality; Rape victims; Rape--Prevention

Disciplines

Educational Psychology

Abstract

Despite increased societal awareness, negative reactions are still common experiences for women disclosing incidents of sexual assault to social network members. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to try to identify one personality type that may be compassionate and empathetic to the victim of a rape. The participants of the study were eighty-two Freshmen, from a Northeastern College. The population contained approximately half males and half females, ages ranging from eighteen to forty-five, with a wide variety of racial backgrounds. The Understanding Scale from the PRF was used to test the participants' levels of compassion, and the Rape Attitudes and Perceptions Questionnaire was used to measure their rape tolerance levels. Past research has shown that the more people know about rape, the less likely they are to blame the victim. In support of this idea, there was a discussion of the prevalence of rape, rape myths and stereotypes, and possible ways to avoid rape, after the testing procedure was over. Surprisingly, high compassion levels did not seem to predict the rape tolerant attitudes in this general, College Freshmen population, as previously hypothesized.

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