Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Lori Demeter


Sexual assault has been a growing concern for many years, and researchers have used rape myth acceptance to understand how blame is assessed as well as to develop effective prevention programs to deter the crime. Rape myths are obstacles to successful program and prevention efforts. The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore potential connections between rape myth acceptance of collegiate level staff and the impact this knowledge can have on developing effective campus sexual assault prevention policies and programs. The theoretical framework of this study drew from evolution theory. The previously validated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale-Short Form (IRMA-SF) was used for data collection to understand the perceptions of collegiate staff on their awareness of rape myth acceptance. This survey was completed by 126 full-time staff at southeastern private university. Multiple regression analysis was used to predict the relationship of the dependent and independent variables. Findings indicated that the higher the levels of knowledge regarding sexual assault of collegiate level staff, the higher or more likely they were to agree that their university does an adequate job of making me aware of its sexual assault policy and programs. The potential for positive social change includes increasing insight into rape myth acceptance and how it may impact development of future effective campus sexual assault prevention policies and programs.