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Rape Culture and institutional Response: Perspectives from Men in Greek Life

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On college campuses, one in five women will experience sexual assault in some capacity over the course of their undergraduate experience. College men in fraternities are three times more likely to commit sexually assaultive acts than non-Greek students. Despite pervasive knowledge that fraternity members are often involved in rape on college campuses, research has not fully examined the norms, attitudes, and behaviors that might underlie and perpetuate sexual assault in fraternities. Further, few studies have covered what constitutes effective sexual assault prevention workshops in the organizations. The present study examined the sociocultural narratives and scripts that perpetuate rape culture in Greek fraternities using in-depth interviews with fraternity members (n=12) at a mid-sized private university. Analytic open-coding of data established major themes to include social power and privilege, emphasis on image, homogeneity, and hypermasculinity, all of which contribute to the objectification of women and the perpetuation of rape culture in fraternities. Further, this study sought to identify how prevention programming can better align with the perspectives and experiences of fraternity men by examining current rape prevention workshops in place at this university and interviewing administrators and student facilitators (n=4) involved in the design and content of these programs. Finally, this study assessed how workshops can be more effective in preventing sexual assault in college. It can be concluded that workshops are designed in order to address rape culture; however, there is reason to believe these measures may not be sufficient.

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  • 06/04/2019
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