Raven Bennett, Psychology (Honors)

Isolating and Evaluating Sexual Violence Prevention Techniques

In a survey on sexual misconduct and sexual assault conducted at 27 different higher education institutions, 27.2% of female college seniors reported they had experienced some kind of unwanted sexual contact (Cantor et al., 2015). While proactive college responses to sexual violence have been steadily increasing, few of the implemented interventions utilize methods that have been evaluated for effectiveness. My Honors thesis is composed of two studies in which I isolate sexual violence prevention education techniques and evaluate their effectiveness. In the first study I conducted, I found that a video that taught about consent using a metaphor was the most effective at decreasing negative attitudes related to sexual violence and that standard, policy-like instruction was the least effective at decreasing negative attitudes related to sexual violence. In the second study, I found that mentorship increased fraternity brothers' participation in a sexual violence prevention program, which in turn led to a decrease in negative attitudes related to sexual violence.