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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74791 Find in a Library
Title: Belief in Rape Myths - The Role of Gender, Attitudes Toward Women and Knowledge of Rape
Author(s): R M Latta
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Eric Document Reproduction Service
Arlington, VA 22210
Sale Source: Eric Document Reproduction Service
P. O. Box 190
Arlington, VA 22210
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The attitudes of male and female undergraduate students toward rape myths were explored based on a survey which used three questionnaires, the relationships between participant gender, attitudes toward women, and factual knowledge of rape were examined.
Abstract: Common myths about rape are that all women want to be raped and that no woman can be raped against her will. The participants were 118 male and 126 female students from the University of New Hampshire, Drake University, and Iowa State University. Participants completed the Myth Scale, the Fact Scale and the Attitudes Toward Women Scale as extra credit in psychology courses. The Myth and Attitude Toward Women Scales used Likert-type formats, while the Fact scale used forced-choice questions about rape statistics. The participants were classified as liberal or unliberal in their views of women's role in contemporary society, based on their scores on the Attitude Toward Women Scale; the results of this instrument were compared to the results from the other two scales. Results showed that females disagreed with rape myths more than male, respondents who were classified as liberal in their perceptions of the contemporary role of women believed in rape myths less than those classified as unliberal, and persons with a greater factual knowledge of rape disagreed with rape myths more than those who possessed less factual information. Findings indicated that beliefs about rape may be partially based on assumptions about women's roles in society; however, gender and factual knowledge may also play important roles. Consciousness raising sessions about rape facts might help to limit the generality of rape ideology. These sessions could be scheduled as part of human sexuality courses and as workshops offered by rape crisis centers. One figure, two of the study instruments, and a list of nine references are included.
Index Term(s): Emergency vehicles; Perception; Rape; Studies
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. Paper presented at the annual meetings of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, May 3, 1979
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