Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Community and Family Health

Major Professor

Julie Baldwin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rasheeta Chandler, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ellen Daley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Desmarais, Ph.D.


Rape Myth, Reactive Aggression, Sexual Coercion, Attitudes toward Women, Social Cognitive Theory, Theory of Planned Behavior, Theory of Gender and Power


The objective of this research was to assess the beliefs of and attitudes towards sexual violence among self-identified male, undergraduate, athletes and non-athletes. Research has shown that there is an association between the subculture of athletics and the beliefs and attitudes towards sexual violence. Male, undergraduate, athletes have disproportionately been reported for sexual violence. This study examined common risk factors attributed to perpetration of sexual violence: rape myth acceptance, lower attitudes toward women, reactive aggression, and physical and verbal sexual coercion. Multiple-level risk factors were studied in order to acquire a comprehensive understanding of what possible associations between male collegiate athletes and sexual violence. Findings indicate that self-identified athletes have lower attitudes towards women, are more likely to accept rape myths, and have a higher prevalence of verbal and physical coercion. Recreational athletes were found to have higher levels of reactive aggression as compared to University Athletic Association athletes. Future studies should include self-identified athletes (e.g., recreational athletes) as they have been understudied.