Publication Date

Summer 2019

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Anthony Paquin, Carl Myers, and Sarah Ochs

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


The purpose of this study was to examine how collegiate males and females perceived date rape and sexual assault by looking into their views on sexual scripts, consent, and alcohol in dating situations. Participants consisted of 323 male and female undergraduate students enrolled in psychology classes at a mid-south university. All participants were directed to an online questionnaire and were randomly assigned to one of four versions of a vignette where a man and a woman are at a party together. After reading their vignette, all participants answered researcher-created questions pertaining to the behavior of the people in the vignette and societal attitudes about sex and alcohol. All participants also completed shortened versions of the Acceptance of Modern Myths about Sexual Aggression scale and Sexual Experiences Survey. Results indicated that if college students believe men should take the lead in sexual encounters, they also expect the man to be persistent, even if the woman “hits the brakes.” Additionally, as many participants agreed and disagreed that alcohol plays a part for when a man rapes a woman. However, the participants did not rely on the specific nonverbal dating behaviors outlined in this study to engage in sexual activity. The relevance of these findings to current research, the implications for school psychologists working in middle and high schools, limitations, and future directions are discussed.


Higher Education | Psychology | School Psychology | Secondary Education