Can Television Impact College Students’ Sexual Misconduct Behavior?

Washington_State_U_SealResearchers at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University have published a paper that shows that college students who watch particular crime shows on television gain a better understanding of sexual consent.

The researchers surveyed a large group of college students on their television viewing habits relating to the popular shows “Law and Order,” “CSI,” and “NCIS.” The latter two shows focus on the crime and the investigation of the evidence. But “Law and Order” follows cases through criminal prosecution.

The research found that students who watched “Law and Order” and saw sexual predators and other criminals receive punishment, were more likely that students who watched the other shows to adhere to expressions of sexual consent and to refuse unwanted sexual advances. Students who were viewers of the other shows were less likely to ask a partner for consent and to adhere to a partner’s consent decisions.

StaceyHustStacey Hurst, an associate professor of communication at Washington State and the lead author of the study, noted that “the results indicate that simply depicting the issue and its impact on the victim may not be enough to influence attitudes and behavior. Instead, sexual assault reduction messages should emphasize the rewards of practicing healthy sexual consent behavior.”

The article, “Law & Order, CSI, and NCIS: The Association Between Exposure to Crime Drama Franchises, Rape Myth Acceptance, and Sexual Consent Negotiation Among College Students,” was published on the website of the Journal of Health Communication. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply