Date of Award

2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Abstract

This study used hypothetical depictions of hookup scenarios to assess the perceptions of 388 participants for whether specific interactions between third-party characters involved sexual misconduct and the perceived appropriateness and wrongfulness of those behaviors. The current research examined the role of three independent between-subject variables in perceptions of sexual misconduct perpetration: a) Sex Motive (Low, High); b) Chronic Power (Low, High); and c) Acute Power (Low, High, Control). Results showed that individuals high in sex driven motivation, compared to those who less often hookup for sex driven reasons, perceived some perpetrators to be more wrongful but also expected these perpetrators to gain social approval from men peers as a result of their actions. Individuals of high chronic power consistently viewed both the perpetrators and the victims as less wrongful compared to those of low chronic power. High chronic power individuals also thought it would be less appropriate to report the misconduct of some perpetrators compared to those of low chronic power. The interactive effects of acute power on low chronic power individuals produced increased expectations of social approval from men peers of some perpetrators when primed for acute high power compared to acute low power. Priming acute low power among high chronic power individuals produced increased expectations of men peer social approval for the perpetrator compared to the control group. Lastly, this study assessed a mediational explanation for the relationship between chronic power and perceptions of sexual misconduct perpetration. This relationship was partially mediated by perceptions of the victims' hookup norm violations in three vignettes. In one vignette, expectations for women peer approval of the perpetrator fully mediated the effects of chronic power, and partially mediated the effects of sexual entitlement, on the perceived wrongfulness of sexual misconduct perpetration.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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