Sorority affiliation and sexual assault victimization: Assessing vulnerability using path analysis

Women who were members of a sorority experienced increased vulnerability to sexual assault compared to those who were not members.


Summary:  The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between female Greek affiliation and sexual assault victimization. A total of 282 undergraduate female students completed a survey that assessed sexual assault victimization, vulnerability-enhancing behaviors, and self-control deficits. Path analyses showed that sorority women consumed more alcohol and drank more frequently, engaged in more risk-taking behaviors, experienced delays in assessment of threat and responses to risk, and had more contact with fraternity men. Those behaviors are significantly related to sexual assault victimization. The authors recommended that future efforts should focus on the college context, victim characteristics and organizations that may shape behaviors that increase risks for victimization and identify solutions for prevention.

Application/Evaluation: This article was not based on an evaluation study.  The authors utilized several standardized measures of predictors of sexual assault.

Limitations: The sample primarily consisted of White women attending a university located in the Northwest.  The findings may not be generalizable to other groups of female college students. 


Franklin, C. A.
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Violence Against Women
Advanced Online Ediition
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