“How have attitudes toward sexual assault at BYU changed since 2011?” By Melissa Goates-Jones, PhD and students (1.0 credits) Not APA approved for online course
Presentation Summary: In 2011 students at Brigham Young University were surveyed about their attitudes toward rape and sexual assault. The results of this study indicated that 41% of men and 29% of women believe that a woman is partly to blame for being raped if she dresses immodestly. Since that survey was conducted sexual assault and rape issues have seen significant news coverage with accusations against high profile entertainers and politicians. BYU was also part of this news cycle due to a US Department of Education investigation of the ties between Honor Code enforcement and the university Title IX office. Here say something like BYU responded to this with a devotional address by Ben Ogles that addressed the myths of sexual assault and some changes in the honor code that extended Honor Code amnesty to victims and ensured that the Title IX and Honor Code offices were fully disconnected.
Given the attention this important social issue has received in recent years, a replication of the original study was conducted to determine if BYU students’ attitudes towards sexual assault have changed.
In January 2019 we administered the Attitudes Towards Sexual Assault Survey to a similar sample of BYU students as the 2011 survey. Participants were recruited via a booth set up in the student center and were compensated for their time with a $2 bill. The measure includes 33 questions asking whether students felt that a rape victim bore responsibility in certain situations and if they considered other given situations to be rape or assault.
Analyses were conducted using Chi-Square (p<.05) and indicated that 15 of the 33 questions had statistically significant changes compared to 2011. Implications of these results, study limitations and further directions will be addressed.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to:
1. Identify at least 5 historical events in the last 8 years that have contributed to changes in attitudes towards sexual assault.
2. Identify at least 3 events that have happened at BYU over the last 8 years that have contributed to BYU students’ changes in attitudes towards sexual assault.
3. Compare BYU students’ attitudes towards sexual assault between 2011 and 2019.
4. Describe the basic theory of love and trustworthiness
5. Explain the importance of examining attitudes toward sexual assault and how they have changed over time.
Biosketch: Melissa Goates-Jones, Ph.D, received a PhD from the University of Maryland in psychology in October 2006 and specialized in psychotherapy research. I have conducted research in the field of psychology for over 15 years, have published 10 articles in peer-reviewed field journals, and have presented at many professional conferences. I am currently an Assistant Professor in the Psychology department at Brigham Young University.