Date of Award
Rape myths are commonly accepted, but usually false, attitudes and beliefs about the act of rape, the perpetrators, and most often the victims (Aronowitz, Lambert, & Davidoff, 2012). Studies have shown that the endorsement of rape myth attitudes influences not only the likelihood of a sexual assault occurring, but also whether or not the incident is reported, and how the victims view themselves and their experiences afterwards (Burnett et ah, 2009). The present study surveyed college students to assess their levels of social competence, semantic knowledge of sex, bystander attitudes, and rape myth acceptance (RMA). The purpose of this study was to explore various factors that could be used to predict RMA levels. It was hypothesized that bystander attitudes, social competence, and sexual knowledge would all be negatively correlated with RMA. Participants were asked to complete four scales of measurement to assess the levels of RMA, bystander attitudes, social competence, and sexual knowledge of participants, as well as a demographics survey. Results indicated that RMA was negatively correlated with both bystander attitudes and sexual health knowledge, and both were significant predictors of RMA. Though no relation was detected between RMA and social competence, future research should further explore the possibility of mediation due to the findings that social competence significantly predicted bystander attitudes and, as mentioned above, bystander attitudes significantly predicted RMA. The findings indicated that awareness programs could be more successful in lowering RMA by introducing elements designed to increase a person’s bystander attitudes and knowledge about sex.
Geeslin, Skye A., "Completing the Puzzle: Exploring Possible Antecedents to Rape Myth Acceptance" (2016). Theses and Dissertations. 234.