Be a Man and Stop Sexual Assault: Take the I-Position?
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Personal and peer attitudes toward sexual assault and their connection to positive bystander intervention have been widely studied in the current literature. Most researchers examining bystander intervention and sexual assault have concluded that conformity to social norms is the strongest predictor of whether men intervene when witnessing sexism or a potential sexual assault situation. Even so, very few empirical studies have explored characteristics of men who do intervene despite pressure to adhere to social norms, men the social norms literature calls “deviants.” This study used Bowen family systems theory’s (BFST) concept of Differentiation of Self (DOS) to examine whether an aspect of differentiation of self called I-position (IP) helps us better understand for what types of men does rape myth acceptance (RMA) better predict bystander intervention (BI) than social norms. Analyses revealed partial support for the hypotheses. There was a main effect of rape myth acceptance on bystander intervention as well as well as a main effect of social norms condition on BI. Although the three-way interaction of condition, RMA and IP on BI was significant, the hypotheses were not supported. When social norms were rejected, for individuals with high RMA, IP was positively associated with BI, but not associated when social norms were salient. For those with low RMA, there was no association between IP and BI regardless of condition. Implications of these results for counseling practice, bystander intervention, training and practice are discussed.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Method -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Demographic Form -- Appendix B. Differentiation of Self Inventory-Short Form -- Appendix C. Updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (IRMA) -- Appendix D. Self-Measure – Bystander Intervention -- Appendix E, Social Norms Rejected -- Appendix F. Social Norms Salient Condition -- Appendix G. Informed Consent (Via Email) -- Appendix H. Informed Consent (Via Psych Pool) -- Appendix I. Incentive Form -- Appendix J. Recruitment Email
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)