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Perceptions of sexual assault in a southern Plains college campus

Gregory, Angelica
The prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses has long been a problem. Currently, roughly 1 in 4-5 women will be sexually assaulted while attending a four-year university. Given the high prevalence of sexual assaults, universities have begun to take steps towards educating students in order to lower these rates through the implementation of sexual assault prevention programs. To date, it is largely unknown how well university sexual assault prevention programs, such as 1is2many, decrease the frequency of sexual assault on college campuses. As a first step, the aims of this study are to survey attitudes toward the 1is2many training and to assess perceptions of sexual assault on campus. Data from an undergraduate student sample (N = 36) were collected through the use of an online questionnaire assessing information retained from the 1is2many program, perceived importance of the program, and personal sexual assault history. Results indicated that perceived importance was a significant predictor of more information retained from the program, controlling for gender and age (B= .06, R2 = .32, p = .02). Contrary to hypothesis, students overestimated rates of sexual assault for men and women. The results of this study highlight perceived importance as a significant factor in retaining the information presented as well as a need for continued prevention efforts and research evaluating the efficacy of university sexual assault prevention programs.