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Mississippi college students’ attitudes, willingness to intervene and legal knowledge toward sexual assault

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Sexual assault on college campuses has been a longstanding problem in the USA. Unfortunately, relatively little has been done to look at the characteristics of these attacks and how they might relate to knowledge of sexual assault policies, participation in sex education courses, beliefs toward sexual violence, and willingness to intervene if an attempted assault is observed. In response to this need, data were collected from college students from four universities in the state of Mississippi. A request to participate in an online, anonymous questionnaire was sent through email and listservs, and a total of 4,994 undergraduate students completed the survey. A significant relationship was found between men’s sexual attitudes and understanding of legal terms and their willingness to intervene if a sexual assault occurred; less legal knowledge and higher rape myth attitudes reduced their probability of being willing to intervene. Conversely, students who had received education at college on how to prevent a sexual assault from occurring were significantly to report being willing to intervene.
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Keywords: Sexual health; USA; campus; college students; sexual assault

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Child and Family Studies, University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, USA 2: Faculty of School of Human Sciences, Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS, USA

Publication date: January 2, 2019

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