Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Chris Rush

Committee Members

Dustin Osborne, Jennifer Pealer


The purpose of this study was to expand current literature regarding police officers’ perceptions on false accusations of sexual assault; specifically, focusing on perceptions of the frequency of false accusations, rape myths and behavior displayed by women reporting sexual assault. Police officers’ perceptions on false accusations of sexual assault were examined by administering a 21-question survey consisting of close-ended and open-ended questions. The survey included questions about police perceptions, false accusations, rape myths, training, and behaviors of women reporting sexual assault. The sample consisted of 40 sworn law enforcement officers from different municipal police departments in Tennessee. The results showed that, despite empirical evidence, police officers were more likely to perceive high rates of false accusations of sexual assault, as well as endorse certain rape myths. Findings also showed a number of police officers perceived different behaviors of women making a false report than those not making a false report.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.