Examining the Role of Gender in Helping Behavior among Students and Faculty
 a symposium presentation by:
Dr. Jenessa Steele & Sarah Kerper
RU advisor: Dr. Jenessa Steele
Abstract.   The 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.
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