Year of Publication

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan M. Golding

Abstract

In a two-part study, dating sexual expectations will be evaluated and the sexual social exchange theory will be investigated in a date rape trial. In Part 1, participants (N = 100) will be presented with one of two fictional date scenarios that will differ only on the cost of the date (i.e., $30 or $175). Participants will then indicate what behaviors (sexual and not sexual) are appropriate at the end of a first date and then a fifth date. It is predicted that all participants will expect sexual intercourse more on the fifth date than the first, and that participants in the expensive date scenario will expect sexual intercourse more than participants in the inexpensive date condition. Part II will use the information gathered in Part I to investigate how sexual expectations in a dating scenario may manifest themselves as feelings of reciprocity in the sexual social exchange theory. In Part II participants (N = 160) will be presented with one of four trial summaries that differ depending on the cost of the date (i.e., $30 or $175) and the date number (i.e., first or fifth). Participants will render a verdict and then rate the defendant and alleged victim on various rating factors (e.g., credibility), in addition to completing the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance scale, short form. It is predicted that there will be fewer guilty verdicts and lower pro-victim judgments for both men and women when the cost of the date was high and when the couple was on their fifth date. It is also predicted that men will render fewer guilty verdicts and report lower pro-victim attitudes than women. Juror rating subscales (e.g., victim credibility) and rape myth acceptance scores are predicted to mediate the effects of the cost of date and date number on verdict. The results will be discussed in terms of how the sexual social exchange theory can explain juror perceptions in a date rape trial.

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