Date of Award

5-4-2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Amanda K. Gilmore, PhD

Second Advisor

Ruschelle M. Leone, PhD

Third Advisor

Shannon Self-Brown, PhD

Abstract

Sexual assault victimization occurs at high rates among the college population in the United States. Forms of sexual assault can include rape, unwanted touching, or forcing a victim to perform sexual acts. Sexual assault victimization disproportionately impacts sexual and racial/ethnic minority individuals. This study examined potential differences in the association between sexual assault and risky sexual behavior (i.e., alcohol use prior to sex and condom use) based on minority status (i.e., race/ethnicity and sexual orientation). Secondary data were collected from a study conducted at a university in the Southwestern region of the United States. A total of 399 college-aged participants were included in the study. Hierarchical linear regressions were performed separately for alcohol use prior to sex and condom use. Results revealed a significant association between sexual assault victimization and risky sexual behavior. The interaction between sexual assault victimization and minority status on alcohol use prior to sex was significant. This finding indicated that the association between sexual victimization and alcohol use prior to sex was positive and significant among sexual and racial/ethnic minorities. The association between sexual victimization and alcohol use prior to sex was non-significant among White, non-Latinx, cisgender, heterosexual participants. These findings contribute to the literature available addressing sexual assault victimization among minority populations. Future sexual assault prevention programming should be sure to discuss treatment for victims with the inclusion of minority populations.

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Available for download on Friday, April 29, 2022

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