Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Second Department

French Studies

Reader 1

Jennifer Groscup

Reader 2

France Lemoine

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Rape culture remains a major issue on college campuses today in the United States. Significant research has been conducted on rape on college campuses in the United States, examining factors such as alcohol, cost of a date, relationship between the victim and perpetrator, apparel of the victim, sexual history of the victim, etc. However, no studies have yet investigated factors that impact rape culture in France. This study will investigate factors that impact both blame attribution and perceptions of sexual assault in the United States and in France. Participants (N=249) were shown a short vignette involving a rape scenario, and then asked questions about who was at fault for the rape, as well as their perception of the situation. Results showed that alcohol use, the cost of a date, and participant country of residence all impacted how participants attributed blame, as well as impacted their overall perception of the scenario. More specifically, participants were less likely to classify a scenario as “rape” when alcohol was involved, when the cost of a date was high, and when the participant was French. These results indicate that we need to rethink the way society approaches issues of sexual assault, in the United States and in France.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.