Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Mariaelena Bartesaghi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Keith Berry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Christopher McRae, Ph.D.


sexual battery, power, victimization, consent


This study examines the function of humor as a discourse in discussion of sexual battery. In this study, I examine the ways sexual battery, consent, and victimization are social constructed. Humor is a form of discourse where individuals are allowed to speak more freely about taboo topics, including that of sexual battery. I examine humor within presentations given from a Victim Help Center. Using field notes, slides, videos, and audio-recordings, I analyze instances of humor within the presentations. I analyze the data multimodally, in order to provide a richer, qualitative analysis. In this thesis, I argue that humor observed in the presentations worked to perform power, mask face-threatening acts, enable metaphors, and, essentially authorize accounts of sexual battery. I argue that victim must be performed in a specific way, which is deemed by the university and other state laws on sexual battery, in order to be seriously considered. I believe that this study can contributes to the examination of broader notions of victimization and can work to examine spaces where victim-blaming occur.