Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


College of Education and Human Services

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Elinor Scheirer

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Galloway

Third Advisor

Dr. G. Pritchy Smith

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Carolyn L. Williams

Department Chair

Dr. John J. Venn

College Dean

Dr. Katherine M. Kasten


Few studies have investigated how race and ethnicity influence people's beliefs about rape, or what impact these beliefs have on what and how we teach college students in efforts to raise awareness about rape. The purpose of this study was to gain understanding of how students of color perceive the cultural relevance of materials commonly used on campuses for rape risk reduction education. Participants were African American and Hispanic students at a mid-sized state university. Focus group sessions and interviews were conducted with 23 student participants. Students reported that they found the rape risk reduction materials culturally relevant; however, other revisions of the materials were necessary if the materials were to connect with students. Data analysis, based on the construction of grounded theory and the use of educational criticism, revealed three recurring themes-the influence of popular culture on student perceptions of social situations, the role of racial and ethnic identity development within a global context, and developmental influences on students' ways of constructing knowledge. Therefore, rape risk reduction efforts must be culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate, and take into consideration the influence of popular culture in order to connect with students.

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Education Commons