Psychology students graduate from university on transgressive behavior

Psychology students graduate from university on transgressive behavior

A group of psychology students is working on the theme of sexually transgressive behavior for their Bachelor’s thesis. With the help of an extensive survey, they want to find out how often transgressive situations occur at Tilburg University.   

Image: Jack Tummers

Third-year students in the Psychology program can choose from a number of Bachelor’s thesis topics determined by lecturers each year. After assistant professor Cedric Stalpers supervised theses on student motivation and stress for a few years in a row, this year he is offering another urgent topic: sexual transgressive behavior. “After the revelations about transgressive behavior on the TV show The Voice, I wanted to act upon the news,” he says. Five students signed up with him.

For their research, the thesis group created a survey, which is distributed to students. It is based on the SEQ, a standard American questionnaire used by the Navy and others to monitor sexual behavior. It includes questions such as, “Have you ever received an inappropriate photo?” and “Have you ever been urged to go on a date you didn’t feel like going on? The intended audience of Stalpers’s thesis group’s survey consists of Dutch students, specifically those at Tilburg University.

Outcome not predictable

Stalpers: “First of all, we want to know exactly how common it is. There are large margins on the number of victims of sexually transgressive behavior; it varies in the literature between forty and seventy percent.” In addition, the students will address some sub-questions. Does an assertive person experience the behavior in the same way as someone who is introverted? How do victims cope with what has happened to them? And how big is the effect on victims’ psyches?”

What the thesis group will find, Stalpers does not dare predict. “You hope that there might be one newsworthy story among them, but that it will stop there. Actually, it should end with The Voice, but it is known that sexual transgressive behavior is unfortunately much more common.” In any case, the students will be analyzing the results of the survey in their theses.

Are you a Dutch student and do you want to take the survey? You can do so here (or here for mobile access).

Translated by Language Center, Riet Bettonviel


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