OVERVIEW: Sexual assault is a prevalent problem within the community and on college campuses. Distal risk factors (e.g., hostile masculinity, hypergender ideology, rape myth acceptance, and casual sex beliefs) increase the risk sexual aggression perpetrated by men towards women. Less studied in men are how sexual assault scripts, or schemas describing behavioral aspects of sexual assault situations, are implicated in the relationship between distal risk factors and sexual aggression in men. The current study sought to examine whether sexual assault scripts account for the relationship between risk factors of sexual aggression and reported intentions to pursue sexual activity after being refused in a sample of men. It was hypothesized that endorsements of sexual assault scripts would account for the relationship between risk factors of sexual aggression and men's intent to pursue sexual activity after being refused. METHOD: Participants were 460 men who identified as heterosexual and who were recruited from Amazon's Mechanical Turk research participant platform, operated via CloudResearch. All participants completed measures of gender role ideologies and hostility, rape myth acceptance, casual sex beliefs, and sexual assault scripts, and responded to two sexual assault vignettes as part of an online questionnaire. RESULTS: Results indicated that sexual assault scripts did not mediate the relationship between distal risk factors and indicated likelihood or level of pursuit of sexual activity following resistance but that distal risk factors did impact likelihood and level of pursuit. CONCLUSIONS: Future studies should examine distal risk factors of sexual assault longitudinally, in more realistic environments (e.g., virtual reality), and should actively work to include a higher number of diverse participants in study samples.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Clinical Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Cook, Matthew, "Sexual Aggression Risk and Sexual Assault Scripts in Men: A Vignette Study" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1466.
Restricted to the UCF community until November 2025; it will then be open access.