Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Psychological Science


Psychological Science (MS)

First Advisor/Chairperson

Dr. Bradley Olson


Rape victims face many difficulties after the traumatic event, one of these being inadequate social support. Victims frequently report apathetic, insensitive, or accusing reactions from support systems (Ahrens, 2006). Understanding how peers respond is essential for ensuring sufficient support is provided. This study explored how college students may perceive victims as predicted by participants’ gender, religious orientation, attitudes toward permissiveness, and length of relationship between victim and perpetrator. Also, order in which participants were asked about their sex was examined as a predicting variable. Participants were randomly assigned to read a vignette featuring a couple that had been dating for either 3 months or 18 months. Each vignette depicted nonconsensual intercourse. Eight questions assessed rape supportive attributions and victim blaming; these were the criterion variables. Of the eight multiple linear regression models, five produced significant results. These results suggest a need for more victim support and less victim blaming.

Access Type

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons