Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Religiosity and Perceptions of Sexual Violence in Utah

Presenter Information

Madison McCormickFollow

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Department

Psychology Department

Faculty Mentor

Kathryn Sperry

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Many factors have been known to increase victim blaming and rape myth acceptance. One factor that has been less studied is religious beliefs. After Brigham Young University received media attention for making victims of sexual assault undergo Honor Code investigations, questions arose about how LDS teachings could be contributing to negative perceptions of victims of sexual assault. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which religiosity affects perceptions of sexual assault victims. Specifically, we aim to compare LDS and non-LDS participants. Approximately 300 students from Utah State University will participate in this online study. Participants will be asked to read a randomly assigned “high-risk” or “low-risk” sexual assault scenario. They will then complete surveys assessing, sexist attitudes, rape myth acceptance, and fundamental religious beliefs. Prior research suggests that religious individuals tend to blame victims to a greater extent than non-religious individuals. Thus, we expect that LDS individuals will show a greater increase of rape myth acceptance between the low and high-risk scenarios than their non-LDS counterparts. We will also examine benevolent sexist beliefs and religious fundamentalism as possible mediators of this relationship. Teachings about chastity, modesty, and promiscuity and the patriarchal structure of the LDS religion may contribute to victim blame and discourage victims from reporting assaults. Further research would be needed to study specific attitudes that may contribute to rape myth acceptance, but this study may act as a catalyst for education surrounding this timely and important issue.

Location

Room 101

Start Date

4-13-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 2:45 PM

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Apr 13th, 1:30 PM Apr 13th, 2:45 PM

Religiosity and Perceptions of Sexual Violence in Utah

Room 101

Many factors have been known to increase victim blaming and rape myth acceptance. One factor that has been less studied is religious beliefs. After Brigham Young University received media attention for making victims of sexual assault undergo Honor Code investigations, questions arose about how LDS teachings could be contributing to negative perceptions of victims of sexual assault. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which religiosity affects perceptions of sexual assault victims. Specifically, we aim to compare LDS and non-LDS participants. Approximately 300 students from Utah State University will participate in this online study. Participants will be asked to read a randomly assigned “high-risk” or “low-risk” sexual assault scenario. They will then complete surveys assessing, sexist attitudes, rape myth acceptance, and fundamental religious beliefs. Prior research suggests that religious individuals tend to blame victims to a greater extent than non-religious individuals. Thus, we expect that LDS individuals will show a greater increase of rape myth acceptance between the low and high-risk scenarios than their non-LDS counterparts. We will also examine benevolent sexist beliefs and religious fundamentalism as possible mediators of this relationship. Teachings about chastity, modesty, and promiscuity and the patriarchal structure of the LDS religion may contribute to victim blame and discourage victims from reporting assaults. Further research would be needed to study specific attitudes that may contribute to rape myth acceptance, but this study may act as a catalyst for education surrounding this timely and important issue.