overarching goal of this ongoing research project is to assess the
pro-social culture at Radford University. How do students and faculty
help one another? What factors predict whether or not a student or
faculty member helps? Is gender a key variable in determining helping
behavior among students and faculty?
We will present research conducted in collaboration with the Radford
University Sexual Assault Task Force on identifying barriers to
bystander intervention for sexual assault. Initial findings suggest
barriers to bystander intervention vary by student gender.
For example, women were significantly more likely than men to report
having a skill deficit as a barrier to intervene in a sexual assault
bystander situation. In addition, a review of the literature on
prosocial behavior promotes differences in influential factors of help
seeking, the likelihood of helping others, and the extent to which they
would be helped, based on both the gender of the potential helper and
the person requiring assistance. For instance, founded on gender roles,
males should be expected to help in situations in which they would be
deemed as chivalrous and heroic, whereas supportive females should
thrive in interpersonal helping situations.
The application of these findings to the student-faculty relationship,
plans for future research, and implementation of the potential results
in the form of faculty training and education will also be discussed.