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NCJ Number: 221815 Find in a Library
Title: Prevalence and Effects of Rape Myths in Print Journalism: The Kobe Bryant Case
Journal: Violence Against Women  Volume:14  Issue:3  Dated:March 2008  Pages:287-309
Author(s): Renae Franiuk; Jennifer L. Seefelt; Sandy L. Cepress; Joseph A. Vandello
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 23
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explores the prevalence of rape myths in print journalism and the effects of exposure to rape myths on people’s beliefs about sexual assault by presenting the results of two studies that used the Kobe Bryant case of alleged sexual assault.
Abstract: The findings from the two studies show the media’s role in perpetuating rape myths and reinforcing beliefs about men and women who support sexual assault in American culture. The first study, an archival study of 156 articles from 76 sources of print media from around the country that contained articles on the Kobe Bryant case of alleged sexual assault, found that 65 percent of the articles had at least 1 rape myth-endorsing statement. The articles were coded for several variables, including instances of rape myths. Rape myths are generalized and widely held beliefs about sexual assault that serve to trivialize the sexual assault or suggest that a sexual assault did not occur. In the second study, participants’ (n=62) prior knowledge of the Kobe Bryant case was assessed. The participants were then exposed to a myth-endorsing article or a myth-challenging article about the case. The study found that those exposed to the myth-endorsing article were more likely to believe that Bryant was not guilty and the alleged victim was lying. The participants were 62 undergraduates, 18 male and 44 female, at a university in the Midwest. Participants were asked five questions about their existing knowledge of the Kobe Bryant case and were then randomly assigned to read one of two fictitious articles about the case. One article was rape-myth endorsing and the other article was rape-myth challenging. Limitations of the study are discussed. Tables, figure, notes, and references
Main Term(s): Media coverage; Sexual assault
Index Term(s): Pretrial publicity; Psychological influences on crime; Rape; Rape research; Societal reactions to crime
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