Education Quarterly Reviews
Published: 01 June 2021
Predictors of the Level of Knowledge about Sexual Harassment and Assault among College Students: A Chi-Squared Automatic Interaction Detection Analysis
Erol Esen, Yağmur Soylu, Diğdem Müge Siyez
Manisa Celal Bayar University (Turkey), Dokuz Eylul University (Turkey)
Download Full-Text Pdf
Keywords: Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Level of Knowledge, College Students, CHAID
This study aims to determine college students’ levels of knowledge about sexual harassment and assault, and to identify the predictors of this level of knowledge. Participants have been selected using a multi-stage sampling method and consist of 7,302 college students from a state college in Turkey. The age of participants ranged from 17 years to 29 years with a mean age of 21.33 years (SD = 2.04). The Sexual Harassment and Assault Knowledge Test, the Survey of College Students’ Exposure to Sexual Harassment and Assault, and a socio-demographic form were used to obtain data from the sample. The two-steps cluster analysis revealed that 70.2 % of the all participants had moderate level of knowledge about sexual harassment and assault, while 13.6 % had a low level of knowledge and 16.2 % had high level of knowledge. The CHAID analysis indicated that sex was the main predictor of level of knowledge about sexual harassment and assault. Also, exposure to sexual harassment or assault, dating experience, and having gender-equality education were found as other predictor variables. Finally, classification accuracy of the CHAID model was found 79.5 % within the sample.
Abe, I. (2012). Defining and awareness of sexual harassment among selected college students in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies, 3(3), 212-218.
Ahmad, S., & Kamal, A. (2000). Development of rape myths scale and its relation with gender role attitudes. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 15(1-2), 57-74.
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179-211.
Anderson, L. A., & Whiston, S. C. (2005). Sexual assault education programs: A meta-analytic examination of their effectiveness. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29(4), 374-388. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2005.00237.x
Apaak, D., & Sarpong, E. O. (2015). Knowledge level and incidence of sexual harassment in sports: Views of Ghanaian female university athletes. Journal of Educational and Social Research, 5(3), 121-130. doi:10.5901/jesr.2015.v5n3p121
Aydemir, L. (2019). Kadın tacizlerine yönelik bir tutum araştırması [An attitude research on women's harassment]. International Journal of Social and Humanities Sciences (IJSHS), 3(1), 199-216
Aydoğdu, F., & Dilekmen, M. (2018). Analyzing the leisure time elementary school students spend with their mothers according to the views of mothers. Sakarya Üniversitesi Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, (35), 49-63.
Bachman, R. (1998). The factors related to rape reporting behavior and arrest: New evidence from the National Crime Victimization Survey. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 25(1), 8-29. doi:10.1177/0093854898025001002
Balcı, Y., Erbaş, M., Işık, Ş., & Karbeyaz, K. (2014). Evaluation of the sexual assault crimes in Muğla Forensic Medicine Department. Adli Tıp Bülteni, 19(2), 87-95. doi:10.17986/blm.2014192795
Becker, E. (2015). Student knowledge and understanding of sexual violence: A case study at Duke University(Undergraduate Honors Thesis). Retrieved from
Bennett, L.R., Manderson, L. & Astbury, J. (2000). Mapping a Global Pandemic: Review of Current Literature on Rape, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment of Women. Geneva: Global Forum for Health Research.
Berkowitz, A.D. (2001). Critical elements of sexual assault prevention and risk reduction programs for men and women. In C. Kilmartin (ed.), Sexual assault in context: Teaching college men about gender . Holmes Beach, FL: Learning Publications.
Borges, A. M., Banyard, V. L., & Moynihan, M. M. (2008). Clarifying consent: Primary prevention of sexual assault on a college campus. Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community, 36(1-2), 75-88. doi:10.1080/10852350802022324
Buhi, E., Clayton, H., & Surrency, H. H. (2009). Stalking victimization among college women and subsequent help-seeking behavior. Journal of American College Health, 57, 419−425. doi:10.3200/JACH.57.4.419-426
Canadian Women’s Foundation (2016). Sexual assault and harassment fact sheet. Retrieved from
Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Townsend, R., Lee, H., Bruce, C., Thomas, G., ... & Westat, Inc. (2015). Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct.Washington, DC: Association of American Universities.
Carey, K. B., Norris, A. L., Durney, S. E., Shepardson, R. L., & Carey, M. P. (2018). Mental health consequences of sexual assault among first-year college women. Journal of American College Health, 66(6), 480-486.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2004). Sexual violence prevention: Beginning the dialogue. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Clarke, N. E., & Crewe, N. M. (2000). Stakeholder attitudes toward ADA Title I: Development of an indirect measurement method. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, 43(2), 58-65.
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Collins, K. M. T., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Jiao, Q. G. (2010). Toward a broader understanding of stress and coping: Mixed methods approaches. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), (1992). General recommendation No. 19: Violence against women (Contained in UN Doc A/47/38). Retrieved from
Coulter, R. W., Mair, C., Miller, E., Blosnich, J. R., Matthews, D. D., & McCauley, H. L. (2017). Prevalence of past-year sexual assault victimization among undergraduate students: Exploring differences by and intersections of gender identity, sexual identity, and race/ethnicity. Prevention Science, 18(6), 726-736.
Coulter, R. W., & Rankin, S. R. (2020). College sexual assault and campus climate for sexual-and gender-minority undergraduate students. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 35(5-6), 1351-1366.
Cowan, G. (2000). Women's hostility toward women and rape and sexual harassment myths. Violence Against Women, 6(3), 238-246. doi:10.1177/10778010022181822
Dalton, J. A. (2007). Predicting sucessful rehabilitation outcomes for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing: an application of chi squared automatic interaction detector and logistic regression analyses. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Wisconsin, Madison.
DeSouza, E., & Fansler, A. G. (2003). Contrapower sexual harassment: A survey of students and faculty members. Sex Roles, 48(11-12), 529-542. doi: 0.1023/A:1023527329364
Dikmen, H.A., Özaydın, T. & Yılmaz, S.D.(2018). Üniversitedeki kadın öğrencilerde yaşanan flört şiddeti ile anksiyete ve umutsuzluk düzeyleri arasındaki ilişki [The Relationship Between Dating Violence and Anxiety/Hopelessness Among Women Students in University]. ACU Sağlık Bilimleri Dergisi, 9(2),170-176. doi:10.31067/0.2018.9
Equal Opportunities Commission (2013). Study on students’ sexual attitudes and views on sexual harassment report. Retrieved from
Eroğlu, K., Seven, M., Abalı Çetin, S., & Önok, M.R. (2017). The experiences and opinions of college students on sexual abuse and harassment. KASHED, 3(1), 18-39.
Esen, E. (2016). Investigation of training programs for supporting healthy adolescent development. 21. Yüzyılda Eğitim ve Toplum Eğitim Bilimleri ve Sosyal Araştırmalar Dergisi, 5(15), 265-292.
Esen, E., Soylu, Y., Firuzan, E., Belkıs, Ö., Baran, B., Ercan., S., Öztürk, B., …Siyez, D. M. (2018). Development of sexual harassment and assault knowledge test. 2ndWomen’s Congress, İzmir, Turkey.
Fedina, L., Holmes, J. L., & Backes, B. L. (2018). Campus sexual assault: A systematic review of prevalence research from 2000 to 2015. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 19(1), 76-93.
Fisher, B.S., Cullen, F.T., & Turner, M.G. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women: Research report (NCJ-182369) Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
Fisher, T. D., Davis, C. M., Yarber, W. L., & Davis, S. L. (2011). Handbook of sexuality-related measures(3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge
Franiuk, R., Seefelt, J. L., & Vandello, J. A. (2008). Prevalence of rape myths in headlines and their effects on attitudes toward rape. Sex Roles, 58(11-12), 790-801. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9372-4
Gilmartin, P. (1994). Rape, Incest, and Child Sexual Abuse: Consequences and Recovery. New York: Garland Publishing.
Grigorenko, E. L., & Sternberg, R. J. (2000). Elucidating the etiology and nature of beliefs about parenting styles. Developmental Science, 3(1), 93-112.
Gross, A.M., Winslett, A., Roberts, M., & Gohm, C.L. (2006). An examination of sexual violence against college women. Violence Against Women, 12(3), 288-300. doi:10.1177/1077801205277358
Gölge, Z. B., Yavuz, M. F., Müderrisoglu, S., & Yavuz, M. S. (2003). Turkish university students' attitudes toward rape. Sex Roles, 49(11-12), 653-661.
Gurung, A., Priyadarshini, S., & Margaret, B. E. (2016). Knowledge of sexual harassment among the undergraduate students in Udupi district. Nitte University Journal of Health Science, 6(2), 4.
Heppner, M. J., Humphrey, C. F., Hillenbrand-Gunn, T. L., & DeBord, K. A. (1995). The differential effects of rape prevention programming on attitudes, behavior, and knowledge. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 42(4), 508–518. doi:10.1037/0022-0126.96.36.1998
Higher Education Council (2015). Yüksek öğretim kurumları toplumsal cinsiyet eşitliği tutum belgesi [Higher education institutions gender equality attitude document]. Retrieved from
Higher Education Council (2019). Yükseköğretim kurulu 2019 yılı yükseköğretim kurumları sınavı yerleştirme sonuçları raporu [Higher education council 2019 higher education institutions exam result report]. Retrieved from
Hoare, R. (2004). Using CHAID for classification problems. New Zealand Statistical Association Conference, Wellington, New Zealand.
Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault (1995). Acquaintance rape: When the rapist is someone you know. Springfield, IL : Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
Johnson, B.E., Kuck, D.C., & Schander, P.R. (1997). Rape myth acceptance and sociodemographic characteristics: A multidimensional analysis. Sex Roles, 36, 693-707.
Kamal, A., Shaikh, I. A., & Shaikh, M. A. (2010). Comparative analysis of attitudes and perceptions about rape among male and female university students. Journal of Ayub Medical College Abbottabad, 22(2), 108-110.
Kalra, G., & Bhugra, D. (2013). Sexual violence against women: Understanding cross-cultural intersections. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 55(3), 244. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.117139
Karakuş, E., Mutlu, E., & Diker Coşkun, Y. (2018). Gender analysis of the national curricula for primary and secondary level compulsory courses updated in 2017 and 2018. İstanbul Üniversitesi Kadın Araştırmaları Dergisi, (17), 31-54.
Karjane, H. M., Fisher, B. S., & Cullen, F. T. (2005). Sexual assault on campus: What colleges and universities are doing about it (NCJ-205521).Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs.
Kass, G.V. (1980). An exploratory technique for investigating large quantities of categorical data. Applied Statistics 29(2), 119–127
Kayı, Z., Yavuz, M.F., & Arıcan, N. (2000). Sexual violence; A Victim survey in a national sample of female college students and graduates. Adli Tıp Bülteni, 5(3), 157-163. doi:10.17986/blm.200053421
Kennedy, M. A., & Gorzalka, B. B. (2002). Asian and non-Asian attitudes toward rape, sexual harassment, and sexuality. Sex Roles, 46(7-8), 227-238. doi:10.1023/A1020145815129
Kernsmith, P.D., Comartin, E., Craun, S.W., & Kernsmith, R.M. (2009). The relationship between sex offender registry utilization and awareness. Sexual Abuse, 21(2), 181-193. doi:10.1177/1079063209332235
Kimberly, C., & Hardman, A. M. (2019). Mississippi college students’ attitudes, willingness to intervene and legal knowledge toward sexual assault. Sex Education, 19(1), 68-83. doi:10.1080/14681811.2018.1478807
Kosciulek, J. F. (2004). On classification trees. Rehabilitation Education, 18, 139-145
Krebs, C.P., Lindquist, C.H., Warner, T.D., Fisher, B.S., & Martin, S. L. (2007). The campus sexual assault (CSA) study (No: 221153). Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice, US Department of Justice.
Lee, J., Busch, N. B., Kim, J., & Lim, H. (2007). Attitudes toward date rape among university students in South Korea. Sex Roles, 57(9-10), 641-649. doi:10.1007/s11199-007-9297-y
Lee, C. Y., Chao, S. S., Chen, S. P., Chou, F. H. C., Su, C. Y., & Ho, W. W. (2010). The characteristics of and risk factors associated with incarcerated sex offenders in Taiwan. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33(3), 144-148. doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.03.003
Leung, L. C. (2017). Understanding the help-seeking decisions of sexual assault survivors: Implications for social work practice in Hong Kong. International Social Work, 60(4), 927-940.doi: 10.1177/0020872815594222
Lonsway, K. A., Cortina, L. M., & Magley, V. J. (2008). Sexual harassment mythology: Definition, conceptualization, and measurement. Sex Roles, 58(9-10), 599-615.
Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1994). Rape myths: In review. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18(2), 133-164. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.1994.tb00448.x
Magidson, J. (1994). The CHAID approach to segmentation modeling: Chi-squared automatic interaction detection. In R.P. Bagozzi (ed.) Advanced Methods of Marketing Research (pp. 118–159). Cambridge, UK: Blackwell.
Mangal, S. K., & Mangal, S. (2013). Research methodology in behavioural sciences. Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.
Matusitz, J. (2012). Relationship between knowledge, stereotyping, and prejudice in interethnic communication. PASOS. Revista de Turismo y Patrimonio Cultural, 10(1), 89-98.
McNaughton, J., & Niedzwiecki, C. K. (2000). Gender differences in parent child communication patterns. Journal of Undergraduate Research, 3, 25-32.
Mellins, C. A., Walsh, K., Sarvet, A. L., Wall, M., Gilbert, L., Santelli, J. S., & Hirsch, J. S. (2017). Sexual assault incidents among college undergraduates: Prevalence and factors associated with risk. PLoS One, 12, e0186471.
Menon, J. A., Sanjobo, N., Lwatula, C., Nkumbula, T., Zgambo, L., Musepa, M., & Ngoma, M. P. S. (2014). Knowledge and perception of sexual harassment in an institution of higher education in Sub-saharan Africa. Medical Journal of Zambia, 41(3), 137-143.
Mızrakçı, Ş. (1994). Factors affecting mothers child rearing attitudes: Demographic characteristics, own upbringing sytle, child development knowledge and perceptions of the child’s temperament (Unpublished master thesis). Ege Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü, İzmir.
Morrongiello, B. A., & Dawber, T. (1999). Parental influences on toddlers' injury-risk behaviors: Are sons and daughters socialized differently? Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 20(2), 227-251.
O'Hare, E.A., & O'Donohue, W. (1998). Sexual harassment: Identifying risk factors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 27(6), 561-580. doi:10.1023/A:1018769016832
Pigeot, I., Ahrens, W., Foraita, R., Jahn, I., & Pohlabeln, H. (2007). Sample selection and outcome evaluation in primary prevention. Journal of Public Health, 15(2), 93-99. doi: 10.1007/s10389-006-0087-8
Polat, O. (2017). Şiddet [Violence]. Marmara Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Hukuk Araştırmaları Dergisi, 22(1), 15-34.
Power, D. A., & Xie, Y. (2008). Statistical methods for categorical data analysis. (2nd ed.). Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing
Roehling, M. V., & Huang, J. (2018). Sexual harassment training effectiveness: An interdisciplinary review and call for research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39(2), 134-150. doi:10.1002/job.2257
Sable, M. R., Danis, F., Mauzy, D. L., & Gallagher, S. K. (2006). Barriers to reporting sexual assault for women and men: Perspectives of college students. Journal of American College Health, 55(3), 157-162. doi:10.3200/JACH.55.3.157-162
Schuster, I., Krahé, B., & Toplu-Demirtaş, E. (2016). Prevalence of sexual aggression victimization and perpetration in a sample of female and male college students in Turkey. The Journal of Sex Research, 53(9), 1139-1152.
Scully, D. (1994). Understanding sexual violence.New York: Routledge.
Sinozich, S., & Langton, L. (2014). Rape and sexual assault victimization among college-age females, 1995-2013. Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
Siyez, D. M., & Soylu, Y. (2017). Gender-sensitive teacher and counselor education. 26th Educational Conference of Educational Sciences, Antalya, Turkey.
Soylu, Y., & Esen, E. (2018). A systematic review on gender themed training programs. 2nd Women’s Congress, İzmir, Turkey.
Sözer, M. A., & Clevenger, S. (2010). The effectiveness of college based rape and sexual assault education programs. Eskişehir Osmangazi University Journal of Social Sciences, 11(1), 89-121.
Stephens, M. A. (2009). Gender differences in parenting styles and effects on the parent-child relationship (Unpublished honors thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, TX, USA.
Struckman-Johnson, C., & Struckman-Johnson, D. (1992). Acceptance of male rape myths among college men and women. Sex Roles, 27(3-4), 85-100.
Suarez, E., & Gadalla, T. M. (2010). Stop blaming the victim: A meta-analysis on rape myths. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 25(11), 2010-2035. doi: 10.1177/0886260509354503
Szymanski, L. A., Devlin, A. S., Chrisler, J. C., & Vyse, S. A. (1993). Gender role and attitudes toward rape in male and female college students. Sex Roles, 29(1-2), 37-57. doi: 10.1007/BF00289995
Şanlı, D., & Öztürk, C. (2015). The effect of culture on parents' attitudes towards raising children. DEUHFED, 8(4), 240-246.
Tang, C. S. K., Yik, M. S., Cheung, F. M., Choi, P. K., & Au, K. C. (1996). Sexual harassment of Chinese college students. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 25(2), 201-215.
Temkin, J., & Krahé, B. (2008) Sexual assault and the justice gap: A question of attitude. Portland, OR: Hart Publishing.
Timur, S., & Yılmaz, Y. (2013). Hemşirelik ve ebelik öğrencilerinin cinsel tacize ilişkin olumsuz tutum ve deneyimlerinin benlik saygısı ile ilişkisi [The Relationship between negative attitudes and experiences of nursing and midwifery students about sexual harassment and self esteem]. Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Nursing Sciences, 5(2), 64-70.
Ullman, S.E. (2010). Talking about sexual assault: Society's response to survivors, Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Ullman, S. E., Starzynski, L. L., Long, S. M., Mason, G. E., & Long, L. M. (2008). Exploring the relationships of women's sexual assault disclosure, social reactions, and problem drinking. Journal of interpersonal violence, 23(9), 1235-1257. doi: 10.1177/0886260508314298
Ullman, S.E., Townsend, S.M., Filipas, H.H., & Starzynski, L.L. (2007). Structural models of the relations of assault severity, social support, avoidance coping, self-blame, and PTSD among sexual assault survivors. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 31, 23–37. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6402.2007.00328.x
van Genderen, H., Rijkboer, M., & Arntz, A. (2012). Theoretical model. Schemas, coping styles, and modes. In M. van Vreeswijk, J. Broersen, & M. Nadort (Eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of schema therapy: theory, research and practice (pp. 27–40). West Sussex: Wiley.
Ward, C., Newlon, B., Krahe, B., Myambo, K., Payne, M., Tastaban, Y., et al. (1998). The Attitudes toward Rape Victims Scale: Psychometric data from 14 countries. Social and Behavioral Sciences Documents 18, 2877.
Wasti, S. A., & Cortina, L. M. (2002). Coping in context: Sociocultural determinants of responses to sexual harassment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(2), 394-405.
Wandersman, A., & Florin, P. (2003). Community interventions and effective prevention. American Psychologist, 58(6-7), 441-448. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.441
World Health Organization (WHO), (2017). Violence against women. Retrieved from
World Economic Forum (2018). The Global gender gap report 2018. Retrieved from
Xue, J., Fang, G., Huang, H., Cui, N., Rhodes, K. V., & Gelles, R. (2019). Rape myths and the cross-cultural adaptation of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale in China. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 34(7), 1428–1460. doi:1428-1460. 10.1177/0886260516651315
Yiğitalp, G., Ertem, M., & Özkaynak, V. (2007). College students' experiences about violence and opinions on this issue. Turk Medline, 6(2), 131-136.