Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences


https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0174-3186 https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2615-9223


Sexual cognitions that flow from gender roles and previous history of victimization are strong predictors of sexual assault victimization. Because these cognitions reside within the individual themselves, we hypothesized that these same cognitions will also be predictors of subsequent reporting behavior to formal campus supports. An online self-report survey for assessing student awareness and perception of sexual safety was administered in a random stratified sample of college students (N = 98; 78% female). Participants were shown a hypothetical vignette involving a quid pro quo sexual harassment incident involving a student and were asked to rate their likelihood of making a formal report if this happened to them. Controlling for Type 1 error rates, a backward-chunk-wise elimination procedure was used to build a regression model involving nine predictors grouped into five categories: (1) conformity to traditional gender roles; (2) rape myth acceptance beliefs; (3) token resistance; (4) sexual assertiveness; and (5) prior history of victimization. Three of the five categories remained in the model after a sequential process of eliminating non-significant predictors. Specifically, lower agreement with token resistance beliefs, stronger sexual assertiveness, and not being a victim in the past increased the likelihood of respondents stating they would initiate a formal report. When predicting reporting behavior among the general college student sample, sexual cognitions related to token resistance beliefs and sexual assertiveness appear to be more robust predictors compared to conformity to traditional gender roles alone. Programming activities could consider targeting these attitudes as opposed to broad aspects of traditional gender roles. Future studies should test this model in a confirmatory manner to determine its reliability in subsequent samples, in addition to the potential role of toxic masculinity attitudes.