Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Peter Jaffe


Sexual violence is an ongoing problem in Canada that affects youth, and has become complicated due to the increased use of social media and the Internet. As a result, new violence prevention programs focus on bystanders’ potential to intervene and has been shown to promote prosocial attitudes toward sexual violence (e.g. Banyard, Moynihan, and Plante, 2007; Katz, Heisterkamp, & Fleming, 2011). The present study examine current attitudes of adolescents in wrongfulness and willingness to intervene in scenarios of sexual violence that occur in either online or offline contexts. The study replicated and modified an existing evidence-supported American questionnaire that uses written bystander scenarios depicting potential sexual violence. Participants were 154 high school students from southwestern Ontario. Significant gender differences, as well as indications for anonymous online victims were found. Implications for future bystander intervention and violence prevention strategies are explored further.