Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Meredith Katz

Second Advisor

Susan Bodnar-Deren

Third Advisor

Sarah Jane Brubaker


Research indicates nearly one-fourth of college women fall victim to sexual assault (Cantor et. al., 2015). Two predictors of high proclivity to rape are endorsement of rape myths and adherence to traditional gender norms (King & Roberts, 2011). Additionally, research shows school-based sex education in the United States presents gender and sexual norms in troubling ways that disproportionately harm women (Kendall, 2013). However, research on sexual assault and rape myths have not examined the impact school-based sex education has on rape supportive attitudes. This study aimed to bridge that gap by using original survey data from undergraduate students at a large public university. Analyses indicate sex education has an inconsistent impact on rape myth acceptance; additionally, seeking sexual health information online was found to significantly lower endorsement of rape myths. Study outcomes suggest that further research is needed to explore the relationship between sex education curricula and rape supportive attitudes.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission