Document Type



Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an issue that affects millions of people and yet many people in the United States base all that they know about the issue on myths. These myths surrounding IPV (e.g., the victim must have provoked their perpetrator) often lead an individual to blame the victim for what has happened. Previous research has shown that the overwhelming amount of victim blaming that occurs related to these accepted myths is connected to a traditionalist view of sex-role stereotypes (Esqueda & Harrison, 2005). While this connection has been shown through research, the specific role that gendered assumptions about masculinity and femininity (e.g., physicality and power) play in these myths has yet to be examined. The present study examined the connection between traditional sex-role stereotypes and gendered assumptions in IPV cases within a sample of college students and a general population sample. A questionnaire methodology was used to measure the adherence to these myths and assumptions. Although several of the expected associations were not significant, it was suggested that individuals who adhered to IPV myths and traditional sex-role stereotypes also rated some gendered assumptions (e.g., the victim is feminine) as likely in IPV cases. Furthermore, results suggested that students were unsure of the likelihood of characteristics of “atypical” cases (e.g., homosexual couples). One potential implication of the present study is suggesting the restructuring of college courses to place a focus on “atypical” victims.



Thesis Comittee

Dr. Nesa Wasarhaley, Thesis Advisor

Dr. Joseph Schwab, Committee Member

Dr. Elizabeth Spievak, Committee Member

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Original document was submitted as an Honors Program requirement. Copyright is held by the author.

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