Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2023

Document Type

Restricted Dissertation - USF access only

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

June Madsen Clausen, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Brent (Rick) Ferm, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Barbara J. Thomas, Ph.D


Sexual assault occurs more often than any other violent crime that takes place on college campus grounds, with rates of victimization higher for college-aged women than any other age group (Conley et al., 2017). Rape and sexual assault victimizations against female students are also more likely to go unreported (Sinozich & Langton, 2014). Those who are members of fraternities or male intercollegiate athletes hold substantial coercive power on college campuses and are at a high risk of perpetuating sexual violence (Boyle, 2015; Corbin, 2011; Martin, 2016; McCray, 2015; Young et al., 2017). The current study examined the influence of perpetrator social status (fraternity brother, male student athlete, or unaffiliated student) on female identified survivors’ willingness to report sexual assault. Additionally, the study examined the influence of perpetrator social status on survivors’ experiences of the response to their reporting of sexual assault. Linear regressions were utilized to evaluate the effects of the social status of the perpetrator on the willingness to report sexual assault and experience of the response to the sexual assault report. Results suggest that social status of perpetrator influences willingness to report; someone who is assaulted by a male student athlete is more willing to report their experience than someone assaulted by a fraternity brother or an unaffiliated student; someone assaulted by a fraternity brother is slightly more likely to report their experience compared to an unaffiliated student. Results suggest social status of perpetrator did not influence the experience of response to reporting. Recent social, legal, and political events such as #MeToo, the case of Brock Turner, and the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh are explored as potential contributors to study outcomes. Further research is needed to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic factors that contribute to willingness to report and experience of response to reporting sexual assault.

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