Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Psychology (B.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Brandon Weiss


Sexual assault has been defined as crimes that include attacks or attempted attacks generally involving unwanted sexual contact between victim and offender. After experiencing assault, survivors look for support and belief often turning to their religious communities. It has been found through prior research that the confession of assault has been received on an inconsistent reaction basis. Prior research has also found that religion is often used as a protective shield for perpetrators to hide behind and a roadblock for survivors. Prior research has also primarily focused on investigating reactions to assault in religious communities for either male female victims with very little research done to compare the two. The purpose of this study is to assess how positively or negatively religion impacts trauma following sexual assault for both men and women. College students were recruited to complete a series of self-report measures that includes measures of sexual experiences, religiosity and spirituality, PTSD, interpersonal support, and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress. Results were used to assess how their religious involvement impacts their trauma. Results of the study showed no significant effect of gender and rape status on religious involvement/spiritual involvement. Results also showed a significant effect of gender and rape status on PTSD.

Included in

Psychology Commons