An analysis of peoples' attitudes towards victims of sexual assault and the influence of social media.
(2016) An analysis of peoples' attitudes towards victims of sexual assault and the influence of social media., no. 55.
Sexual assault is a worldwide phenomenon which happens across all cultures. Most commonly affecting women, this issue has developed a range of differing views and opinions towards the victims, particularly when investigating where the blame lies. This research project explores male and female undergraduate student's attitudes towards victims of sexual assault and the extent to which social media may have an influence on these attitudes. Data was collected using focus groups with male and female undergraduate students from Queen Margaret University and was analysed using thematic analysis. Themes that emerged included the understanding and interpretation of sexual assault, perpetrators, the way in which the victim portrays herself, stigma attached to victims of sexual assault and social media. The findings suggested that overall, male and female undergraduate students adopt a similar viewpoint of victims of sexual assault. However, it can be suggested that the male participants within the study adopted a light victim blaming attitude at certain points within the focus group conversation. Participants believed that social media may have a negative influence on people's attitudes of victims of sexual assault as well as sexual assault in general due to the offensive and degrading nature of some of the content found.