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30 J. Crim. Just. Educ. 1 (2019)

handle is hein.journals/jcrimjed30 and id is 1 raw text is: 

Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 2019
Vol. 30, No. 1, 1-21, https://doi.org/10.1080/10511253.2018.1448095

Assessing Student Attitudes Toward

Sexual Assault by Using a Mock Trial

        Amy J. Stichman, McKenzie Wood and
        Anna-Alicia Watson

     Despite the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, college stu-
     dents' views regarding rape continue to be an understudied area. Using
     criminal justice and sociology students who either attended a mock sexual
     assault trial or viewed the trial video in their class, this study examined stu-
     dents' attitudes toward rape and rape myth acceptance. Surveys assessed
     what students believed the verdict should be and why, along with questions
     surrounding rape myths and beliefs regarding women. Results indicate that
     female students were more likely to find the defendant guilty. None of the
     attitudinal variables or plans to work in the criminal justice system, how-
     ever, had an effect on the verdict. Multiple factors such as gender, race,
     and hostility toward women influenced attitudes regarding rape myths.
     These findings suggest that attitudes may be less important when determin-
     ing sexual assault defendants' guilt than the facts of the case. Policy impli-
     cations are discussed.

Sexual assault continues to be  a persistent problem in American  society. A
recent survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that
approximately  19% of women   have been  raped, and around 44%  have experi-
enced  other forms of sexual violence in their lifetimes (Breiding et al., 2014).
Additional research states that almost 30% of women  who  are raped are first
raped  between  the ages of 18 and 24 (Tjaden  t Thoennes,  1998), an age at
which  many young  women   are attending college. The nature of college cam-
puses  may  perpetuate stereotypes and  negative attitudes supporting sexual
violence. If campuses are considered safe havens for students, campus admin-
istrations may be quick to attribute campus crime, and sexual assault in partic-
ular, to an  anomalous  individual instead of a society that encourages this
behavior  (Fisher, Daigle, t Cullen, 2010). While this attribution may make
campus  administration and students' parents feel better, it allows administra-
tors, parents, and students to ignore the growing problem, silence victims, and
prevent positive and effective changes from occurring.
   Sexual assault has wide reaching impacts on both victims and society. Creat-
ing a lasting, effective change begins with examining student attitudes toward

   Taylor&FrancisGmup  D 2018 Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences

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