Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version

Spring 3-12-2018


Larsen, R. E. (2018). Sexual assault in the political sphere (Unpublished honors thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Robert Larsen 2018


This project sought to analyze how sexual assault in the political sphere is perceived and treated in contemporary society in the United States of America. The thesis analyzed eight cases of sexual misconduct, including six from the past thirty years. In each case, the reaction of party and social leaders, of the politician’s constituents and of the politician himself were looked at, as well as the consequences the politician faced. The results were then analyzed side-by-side to discover similarities and differences between ho cases of sexual assault allegations were treated and in terms of what happened to the politician after the allegations came out. I found that a politician’s partisan affiliation and power within their party greatly affected what kind of support they had both from party leaders and from their constituents. While this may be slightly changing now, an analysis of cases from 2016 and 2017 shows that it is still the most important factor in determining how a politician will be treated and what consequences they will receive.