Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Comments

Submitted to the College of Graduate Studies of Bridgewater State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Criminal Justice.

Degree Program

Criminal Justice

Degree Type

Master of Science


Sexual assault is not a new topic of discussion. It has increasingly become a popular topic to discuss especially with larger cases being more prevalent in the media. However, the discussion about adult male victims has just begun. There has been little to no discussion about adult male victims and their experiences and it is important do research. Research needs to begin looking at new topics that have previously been ignored. Some of these topics include adult male victims’ personal experiences, male rape myths, female on male victimization, and societal perceptions. This research attempts to examine societal perceptions about adult male victims. It asked college students if they believed adult males could be victims of sexual assault and used vignettes to gauge participants reactions and beliefs about male victims. This research shows that tact is necessary to obtain more accurate data from participants. Participants appear to state the socially acceptable response to direct questions but show their true beliefs to more indirect question. Respondents appear to believe that adult males can be victims and that the vignettes all show sexual assault. However, there were three things made clear through indirect questions: intoxicated victims, male victims, and victims with a female perpetrator were seen more often to not experience sexual assault.


Dr. Jennifer Hartsfield, Chair

Dr. Jo-Ann Della Giustina, Member

Dr. Richard Wright, Member