Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type


First Advisor



‘Why do reported rape rates vary among US Native American reservations?’ is the research question this undergraduate political science thesis is constructed upon. The dataset utilized for this research design is the FBI Crimes in the U.S. 2009 statistical publication which has a specified ‘forcible rape’ category, allowing one to test for possible explanations for the disparity of reported rapes across 81 Native American reservations. Sexual violence is well documented on Indian Country and this study argues that the presence of casinos is correlated to rapes being reported to tribal law enforcement officials. Tribal gaming is a unique institutional facet of the Native American reservation and has been extolled for helping tribes develop economically. However, this study uncovers a destructive side to the Native American casino: an increase in sexual violence.