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Disseration Proposal

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  • 1. Understanding the Association Between Athletic Participation and Sexual Aggression “ Mediating Factors” Earl E. Walker, Jr., M.Ed. Boston University Committee Members: Leonard Zaichkowsky, Ph.D., Judy Pierson, Ed.D., John Cheffers, Ed.D., Eric Hartung, Ed.D., William Pollack, Ph.D.
  • 2. Introduction
    • 500,000 rapes and sexual assaults (National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Dept. of Justice).
    • Overwhelming majority of rapes occur between the ages of 16-24 (Koss & Gaines, 1993).
    • 1 in 8 college women experience some form of sexual assault (Fisher & Cullen, 2001)
  • 3. Media Implications for Athletes
    • Higher rates of sexual aggression committed by athletes?
      • Athletes are overrepresented in the population of sexual aggressors (cited in Crosset et al., 1995)
  • 4. Conflicting Reports In the Literature
    • Association (yes)
      • Koss & Gaines (1993)
      • Frintner & Robinson (1993)
      • Boeringer (1999)
      • Caron et al., (1997)
    • Association (no)
      • Jackson (1991)
      • Lackie & de Man (1997)
      • Humphrey & Kahn (2000)
  • 5. Explanations for Positive Association
    • Traditionally gender segregated and male dominated culture perpetuates an antisocial attitude toward women (Boeringer, 1996; Crossett et al., 1995; Curry, 1991)
    • Elite social status afforded to athletes promotes privileged attitudes and boundless behaviors towards women- sense of entitlement (Koss & Gaines, 1993; Caron et al., 1997)
    • Elite social status of athletes may encourage higher rates of reporting (as cited in Caron et al, 1997)
  • 6. Mediating Factors
    • Causation may be rooted in a third variable (Caron et al., 1997)
    • Masculinity (Weisbuch et al., 1999; Hong, 2000; Boeringer, 1999; Harvey, 1996)
    • Competitiveness (Caron et al., 1997)
    • Sexual entitlement (Hill & Fischer, 2001)
  • 7. Path Analysis
  • 8. Research Questions
    • Is there really an association between athletic participation and sexual aggression?
    • If so, can this association be explained by mediating factors such as levels of masculinity or masculinity-related variables (ie. competitiveness or sense of sexual entitlement)?
  • 9. Hypotheses
    • Athletic participation is positively associated with sexual aggression.
    • Masculinity, competitiveness, and sense of sexual entitlement are positively associated with sexual aggression
    • When masculinity and masculinity related variables are controlled for, the association between athletic participation and sexual aggression is not statistically significant.
  • 10. Concept Stabilization
    • Sexual Aggression: the use of force on a woman to have nonconsensual sex (or the attempt) and the use of threat in order to coerce a woman to have sex (Cook, 1995). Also the use of these same methods to initiate unwanted sexual contact (Koss & Gaines, 1982)
  • 11. Concept Stabilization (cont.)
    • Masculine Role Conflict- the negative psychological and physiological effects that may result from men’s attempts to attain societal male role standards.
  • 12. Sampling
    • NCAA Division I male collegiate wrestlers from the northeast region of the United States.
    • A comparison group of male undergraduate non-varsity athletes will also be sampled.
  • 13. Measures
    • Sexual Experiences Survey (Koss & Gaines, 1993).
    • Gender Role Conflict Scale ( O’neil et al., 1986 ).
    • Competitiveness Index ( Smither & Houston, 1992 ).
    • Athletic Participation Inventory (Koss & Gaines, 1993)
    • Hanson Sexual Entitlement Questionnaire (Hanson et al., 1994)
  • 14. Analyses
    • A partial correlation analysis will be conducted for all variables.
    • Qualifying variables will be entered into a structural equation for observed variable path analysis.
    • An independent sample t-test will be performed to determine difference btw athletes and non-varsity athletes.
  • 15. Path Analysis
  • 16. Significance of Study
    • To date, no study has examined the association between athletic participation and sexual aggression controlling for levels of masculinity and masculinity related variables.
  • 17. Future Implications
    • The findings from this study may shed light on whether or not we need to direct special intervention and prevention programs to athletes or more broadly defined populations who possess the qualities ascertained in this study that are associated with sexual aggression.
  • 18. References
    • Boeringer, S.B. (1999). Associations of rape-supportive attitudes with fraternal and athletic participation. Violence Against Women, 5(1), 81-90.
    • Caron, S.L., Halteman, W.A., Stacy, C. (1997). Athletes and rape: Is there a connection? Perceptual & Motor Skills, 85(3, Pt 2), 1379-1393.
    • Caron, S.L., Carter, D.B. (1997). The relationships among sex role orientation, egalitarianism, attitudes toward sexuality, and attitudes toward violence against women. Journal of Social Psychology, 137(5), 568-587.
    • Cook, S.L. (1995). Acceptance and expectation of sexual aggression in college students. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 19, 181-194.
    • Frintner, M.P., Rubinson, L. (1993). Acquaintance rape: The influence of alcohol, fraternity membership, and sports team membership. Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 19(4), 272-284.
    • Hanson, R.K., Gizzarelli, R., & Scott, H. (1994). The attitudes of incest offenders: Sexual entitlement and acceptance of sex with children. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 21, 187-202.
    • Hill, M.S. & Fischer, A.R. (2001). Does entitlement mediate the link between masculinity and rape-related variables? Journal of Counseling Psychology, 48(1), 39-50.
    • Humphrey, S.E. & Kahn, A.S. (2000). Fraternities, athletic teams, and rape: Importance of identification with a risky group. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(12), 1313-1322.
    • Koss, M.P. & Gaines, J.A. (1993). The prediction of sexual aggression by alcohol use, athletic participation, and fraternity affiliation. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 8(1), 94-108.
    • Lackie, L. & de Man, A.F. (1997). Correlates of sexual aggression among male university students. Sex Roles, 37(5-6), 451-457.
    • Mosher, D.L. & Anderson, R.D. (1986). Macho personality, sexual aggression, and reactions to guided imagery of realistic rape. Journal of Research in Personality, 20(1), 77-94.
    • O’Neil, J.M., Helms, B.J., Gable, R.K., David, L., & Wrightsman, L.S. (1986). Gender-role conflict scale: College men’s fear of femininity. Sex Roles, 14, 335-350.
    • Smither, R.D. & Houston, J.M. (1992). The nature of competitiveness: The development and validation of the Competitiveness Index. Educational & Psychological Measurement, 52(2), 407-418.