Date of Award

Summer 8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Erika Frenzel

Second Advisor

Jonathon Cooper

Third Advisor

John Lewis

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Gossett


While research has examined the level of blame placed on victims and perpetrators for rape and sexual assault simulations, no one has ever examined if college students can accurately identify what rape is. In addition, the simulations that are presented to students tend to overwhelming have female victims and male perpetrators. This study examines if college students can accurately identify rape, using four visual vignettes demonstrating a clear violation of law, an ambiguous violation of law, a clear non-violation of law, and an ambiguous non-violation of law, with a male victim and two female perpetrators. It was found that gender significantly influences an individual’s likelihood of accurately identifying the simulation, and that students overall are able to identify rape, except for the ambiguous non-violation of law simulation.