Beyond the Mainstream: A Theory Test of School Engagement and Sexual Assault
Vlajnic, Maja Milana
Thornberry, Terence P
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While many mainstream criminological theories purportedly explain all types of crime, next to nothing in the literature tests for rape and sexual assault — an exceptional oversight, considering that an alternate theoretical explanation (feminist theory) exists for this class of crime. This thesis hopes to begin to rectify this gap in the literature by testing an aspect of control theory, the school bond. Using the National Youth Survey, logistic regression is applied to test the effects of school engagement (academic and athletic) on rapes attempted or completed by male adolescents. Support for neither the control theory hypothesis nor the feminist theory hypothesis is found, as neither engagement variable reaches significant results. However, this thesis still hopes to emphasize the necessity of literature specifically testing rape and sexual assault, and offers directions for future research to expand on this.