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Date of this Version

Spring 4-14-2020

Document Type



Brumbaugh, T., Hansmeier, H., Bizal, K., Lytle, B., Bartholet, A., Lambertsen, M., Kumar, S., DiLillo, D., & Gervais, S. (2020, April). Hypergender ideology and social norms influence attitudes towards bystander intervention. Poster accepted for presentation to the Nebraska Student Research Expo, Lincoln, NE.


Copyright 2020 by the authors.


• Bystander intervention can help prevent future cases of sexual assault that might otherwise go unreported without help to the victim and without justice against the perpetrator.

• However, according to Burn (2009) and Planty (2002), a bystander witnesses a third of all sexual assaults yet only intervenes a third of the time.

• Little is known about factors that may ultimately influence attitudes toward bystander intervention, but emerging evidence indicates that hypergender ideology and strong adherence to social norms may lead to a lesser likelihood of bystander intervention.

• For example, hypermasculinity has been linked to approval of sexual aggression (Gold, Fultz, Burke, Prisco, & Willett, 1992; Hamburger, Hogben, McGowan, & Dawson, 1996; Mosher & Sirkin, 1984), and studies have also shown that if peers are unsupportive of intervention then a bystander is less likely to act (Banyard et al., 2014).

• As such, there is reason to believe that these ideologies and norms are associated with inaction and apathy toward bystander intervention.

Hypothesis: Individuals endorsing greater levels of hypergender ideology and sexually aggressive social norms will be less likely to hold positive attitudes toward bystander intervention in sexual risk scenarios.

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