Departmental Honors Project Title
Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Research suggests that sexual assault on college campuses is very prevalent. Although institutions are taking measures towards prevention, social norms have left the role of men in addressing sexual violence under-examined. Through my two-part research, I examined the relationship between men and these systems. I first conducted interviews with Higher Education Professionals in the Upper Midwest to explore how the dominant forms of masculinity have played a role in campus programming. This research was concerned with how schools are engaging men on campus and addressing harmful forms of masculinity. The themes that emerged through these interviews provided the basis for the questions asked of participants in the next phase of my research, where I conducted several focus groups with men from the same Midwestern campus. Each of the men also shared the common identity of being part of the same sports team in each focus group to highlight aspects of masculine performance among peers. I focused on four categories of questions: male engagement, messaging on masculinity, attitudes on sexual violence, and perceptions in sexual violence focused spaces. These groups provided deeper insights on male-identified student’s perceptions of how concepts of masculinity play a role in one particular campus culture. Themes such as cognitive dissonance, entitlement, distancing and the role of influencers were key findings from these focus groups. These two discrete pieces of qualitative research extend research on cultures of masculinities and sexual violence, as well as inform best practices for healthy and safe higher education campus communities.
Snyder, Merry M., "Men, Masculinity and Perceptions of Higher Education Sexual Violence Programming: A Qualitative Analysis" (2018). Departmental Honors Projects. 71.