Sexual assault is a significant problem on college campuses across the United States and an extensive amount of research has been conducted to address the issue. However, only a limited number of empirical studies have examined sexual victimization among the Deaf and hard of hearing population. Using a survey instrument with a sample of Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students (n = 3,970) at the Rochester Institute of Technology, this study examined the associations between auditory status, prior sexual victimization, rape myths and behaviors. The results showed that Deaf and hard of hearing students are more likely to experience sexual victimization than hearing students. Findings also indicate significant differences between Deaf and hard of hearing students (DHH) and hearing students in regard to rape supportive attitudes and behaviors. Finally and unexpectedly, the analyses found that previous sexual victimization increased rape supportive attitudes towards and behaviors associated with date rape. Implications and directions for further research are discussed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deaf college students--Abuse of; Deaf college students--Attitudes; Date rape--Public opinion

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Criminal Justice (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Criminal Justice (CLA)


Laverne McQuiller Williams

Advisor/Committee Member

Judy Porter

Advisor/Committee Member

Tony Smith


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at HV2449 .V64 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes