Risky Situation or Harmless Fun? A Qualitative Examination of College Women's Bad Hook-up and Rape Scripts

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Abstract

College students appear to be increasingly engaging in casual, non-committed sexual relationships, which may represent potential situations in which sexual assaults occur. The current study sought to assess if college students regard rape as a potential outcome of hooking up through examination of students' rape and hook-up scripts. A multi-ethnic sample of 109 US college women (54% European American, 19% Latina, 21% African American) described a typical rape and bad hook-up. Hook-up scripts generally did not include the possibility of sexual assault and instead focused on psychological consequences (e.g., shame). Participants' rape scripts generally did not occur in the context of casual sexual encounters. Implications of the results for understanding students' sexual behavior and developing rape prevention programs are discussed.

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