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From the discussion. (I have the full paper if anyone wants it.)

Scholarship on violence against women has proposed offense-specific explanations arguing that traditional criminology is insufficient to explain this unique form of offending. Schwartz and DeKeseredy’s (1997) male peer support model borrows some concepts from more general, traditional theories but applies them in a unique framework to explain the relationship between male group membership and sexual assault. This type of offense-specific explanation, however, runs the risk of being misspecified if more general explanations of criminal behavior are not considered. For example, Gottfredson and Hirschi’s (1990) general theory of crime has been a powerful explanation of offending. Despite significant criticisms of the theory (see Miller & Burack, 1993; Sellers, 1999), the empirical status of self-control as a predictor of offending has suggested the need to examine its predictive capacity for sexual assault in conjunction with more offense-specific theories, such as male peer support. Accordingly, the analyses presented here lead to three conclusions.

First, although not entirely supported in these results, some of the concepts that capture male peer support had significant effects on sexual assault both directly and indirectly. Group secrecy and peer pressure for sex directly affected sexual assault, and gender role ideology and informational support significantly predicted sexual assault through their impact on peer pressure for sex. Schwartz and DeKeseredy’s (1997) model has identified some important predictors of sexual assault, yet these factors were not necessarily or solely tied to fraternity membership. Specifically, fraternity membership did not significantly affect gender role ideology, informational support, or group secrecy. Rather, the only significant indirect impact of fraternity membership occurred through peer pressure for sex. In other words, fraternity members experienced greater levels of peer pressure to have sex, which, in turn, increased the likelihood of sexual assault. It may be that although the current analysis used fraternity membership to measure the effects of all-male groups, analyses investigating male peer support using different forms of organized male-only peers may produce different results. Indeed, male peer support can operate in other homosocial group contexts, and so results of this analysis should be considered only in the context of fraternity membership. That said, the findings presented here lend support to facets of the male peer support model, but not as it has been conceptually proposed and not without accounting for the role of self-control.

Second, one additional aspect of the male peer support model received support in these analyses. Fraternity membership indirectly predicted sexual assault through alcohol consumption and illegal drug use. This finding is relatively unsurprising, given the pervasive party culture within Greek systems and research demonstrating a robust positive relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assault (Abbey, 2002; Felson & Burchfield, 2004; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987). Outside of the model as proposed, however, fraternity membership continued to significantly and directly predict sexual assault.

Third, the integration of concepts drawn from male peer support and self-control theories proved to be advantageous. As such, integrating self-control with male peer support is useful for understanding who is likely to hold abuse-facilitating attitudes or to engage in abuse-facilitating behaviors. Self-control significantly predicted the frequency of pornography consumption, gender role ideology, and alcohol use. Gender role ideology and alcohol consumption, in turn, predicted sexual assault. This implies that the impact of self-control on sexual assault is indirect through abusive attitudes and risky behaviors. When self-control was included in the model, the fit statistics improved to the point that the model would be considered a good fit to the data. In comparison, the solely male peer support models did not provide a good fit (Hu & Bentler, 1999) and thus were not supported by the data contained in this study.

Franklin, C. A., Bouffard, L. A., & Pratt, T. C. (2012). Sexual Assault on the College Campus: Fraternity Affiliation, Male Peer Support, and Low Self-Control. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39(11), 1457-1480.

Link to article on Sage here.

[#quickhits]Sexual Assault on the College Campus (research paper)