Alpha Alpha Alpha Male: Relations Among Fraternity Membership, Traditional Masculine Gender Roles, and Sexual Violence

Show simple item record Seabrook, Rita 2017-10-05T20:29:51Z NO_RESTRICTION 2017-10-05T20:29:51Z 2017 2017
dc.description.abstract One in four women experiences sexual assault during her time in college (e.g., Cantor et al., 2015). Fraternity membership has been associated with greater acceptance and perpetration of sexual violence, as has endorsement of traditional masculinity (e.g., Murnen & Kohlman, 2007). In this dissertation, I explore mechanisms by which fraternity membership is associated with sexual violence, whether prospective fraternity membership is associated with sexual violence, and whether fraternity members are more likely than other college men to be excused for sexual violence. In Study 1, I used Structural Equation Modeling to test whether endorsement of traditional masculinity explains how fraternity membership is associated with greater rape myth acceptance and more sexually deceptive behavior in a sample of 365 undergraduate men. Assessments of traditional masculinity included conformity to masculine norms, pressure to uphold masculine norms, and acceptance of objectification of women. Results suggest that conformity to masculine norms, pressure to uphold masculine norms, and acceptance of objectification of women, together, mediate the relation between fraternity membership and acceptance of sexual violence. Universities should include discussions of masculinity and the pressure men feel to uphold it in their sexual assault prevention programs, especially those delivered to fraternity members. In Study 2, I surveyed 88 men interested in Greek life before the rush process (T1) and again 4 months later (T2) to examine predictors and consequences of fraternity membership. Participants completed measures of endorsement of traditional masculine gender roles, hostile and benevolent sexism, and acceptance of rape myths. Among men interested in joining a fraternity, none of the measures were associated with whether or not they joined a fraternity. From T1 to T2, men who joined a fraternity maintained similar levels of endorsement of masculine gender roles, benevolent sexism, and rape myth acceptance, whereas men who did not join a fraternity decreased in their endorsement. Results suggest that joining a fraternity prevented decreases in endorsement of traditional gender roles and acceptance of sexual violence. These results lend support to the hypothesis that fraternity membership is associated with sexual violence over time. In Study 3, I examined the influence of fraternity membership on perceptions of guilt in a sexual assault scenario. A sample of 408 undergraduate students listened to a podcast in which a female student describes an ambiguous sexual assault scenario. In the experimental condition, the female student reveals that the perpetrator is a fraternity member. In the control condition, no information is given about his fraternity affiliation. Participants then filled out measures of perceptions of the perpetrator and victim (perpetrator culpability, victim culpability, perpetrator guilt, and victim credibility), as well as semantic differentials for the perpetrator and victim (e.g., responsible, attractive, chaste). Results indicate that male participants rated a perpetrator as less guilty, and a victim as more culpable, less credible, and more negative when the perpetrator was a fraternity member compared to when no information was given about his fraternity status. There were no differences in perceptions of the victim and perpetrator among female participants. These results suggest that fraternity members are less likely to be blamed by other men for their sexual aggression. This leniency may contribute to high rates of sexual assault on college campuses by creating a cycle in which fraternity members perpetrate more sexual aggression, but are less likely to be punished, thus reinforcing sexually aggressive behaviors.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject sexual assault
dc.subject fraternities
dc.subject victim blame
dc.subject masculinity
dc.title Alpha Alpha Alpha Male: Relations Among Fraternity Membership, Traditional Masculine Gender Roles, and Sexual Violence
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline Psychology and Women's Studies
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
dc.contributor.committeemember Ward, Lucretia M
dc.contributor.committeemember Armstrong, Elizabeth Ann
dc.contributor.committeemember Cortina, Lilia M
dc.contributor.committeemember Murnen, Sarah K
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Psychology
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Women's and Gender Studies
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Social Sciences
dc.identifier.orcid 0000-0002-3824-5578 Seabrook, Rita; 0000-0002-3824-5578 en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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