Essay Routine Activities Theory And Social Learning Theory

2002 Words Sep 29th, 2016 9 Pages
Sexual Assault on Campus: Routine Activities Theory and Social Learning Theory
Over the past two decades, sexual assaults against females occurring at universities have become more common, particularly those committed by fraternity members (Boeringer, Shehan, & Akers, 1991). It has been estimated that 20 to 25% of females at university have been a victim of sexual assault (Koss, 1985), and a study conducted in the United States estimates that females at a university which contains 10,000 female students could experience over 350 rapes per year (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000). The alarmingly high rate of female undergraduates who have experienced sexual assaults raises the question of responsibility and accountability. It is crucial to develop theories to better understand why university males perpetrate sexual assault, and to attempt to reduce these behaviours. Two such theories that have been used to analyse sexually aggressive behaviour committed by university students are routine activities theory and social learning theory.
Routine activities theory, developed by Cohen and Felson (1979), addresses individual risks for victimisation based on lifestyle. It has been used to explore why women are at a higher risk of being sexually assaulted, and why some women are at a greater risk than others (Mustaine & Tewksbury, 2002). It claims that whether an individual commits a crime or not depends on the environmental circumstances. An individual will only be willing to commit a…

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