Graduation Date

Spring 2018

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Applied Anthropology

Committee Chair Name

Rebecca Robertson

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Llyn Smith

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Mary Scoggin

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



The term Rape Culture is used to describe a culture in which sexualized violence is normalized and encouraged. Resistance to Rape Culture has existed as long as Rape Culture itself. Efforts take on a unique form in institutions of higher education such as Humboldt State University (HSU), in that the organizers of these efforts are often students. I analyzed three efforts to address Rape Culture at HSU with a feminist approach, using participant observation and qualitative interviewing to assess how these programs can be improved for the students organizing them. Take Back the Night is an annual event with a goal of eliminating sexualized violence. Check-It is a bystander intervention program that promotes healthy relationships, consent, and teaches how to intervene when witnessing situations that have a potential for violence. Deconstructing Rape Culture was a project facilitated in the Fall of 2017 as a part of this thesis research. The project used artistic mediums to explore different facets of Rape Culture with a small group of HSU students. I found that participating in organizing against Rape Culture has a positive impact on students, that the presence or absence of, and the nature of, leadership or mentorship impacts student organizing, and that student organizers view intersectionality and inclusivity as an essential part of programming against Rape Culture. From these findings, I recommend that HSU prioritizes the continued funding of spaces that offer students the opportunity to organize, that concerns of student organizers should guide changes to programming against Rape Culture, and that this programming address forms of oppression such as racism, classism, and ableism alongside sexism.

Citation Style


IRB17-131.pdf (239 kB)
IRB16-037.pdf (232 kB)


Thesis/Project Location