Examination of Victim and Perpetrator Blame in Date Rape Scenarios and Exploration of Ambivalent Sexism Subtypes as Predictors of Male and Female Rape Myths among a Sample of College Students
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Rape has stereotypically been considered a crime involving a female victim and a male perpetrator. In reality, rape is a traumatic event that is both experienced and perpetrated by men and women. Previous research has focused on examining victim and perpetrator blame in male-on-female and male-on-male date rape scenarios or in sexual assault scenarios (i.e., scenarios not involving penetration) rather than date rape scenarios (Gerber, Cronin, & Steigman, 2004). In addition, benevolent (BS) and hostile (HS) sexism have been examined as predictors of female and male rape myths, although little research has examined which subtypes of BS and HS toward men and women predict male and female rape myths (Chapleau, Oswald, & Russell, 2007, 2008). Therefore, the present study was unique as it examined victim and perpetrator blame in date rape scenarios of all sex pairings, determined if participants with higher benevolent sexism (BS) endorsed more victim and perpetrator blame than low BS counterparts, and expanded on previous research by examining which subtypes of BS and HS toward men predicted male rape myths, and if BS subtypes and overall HS toward women predicted female rape myths. Two hundred fifty men and women undergraduate students from two Midwestern universities completed survey materials. A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) demonstrated that men participants endorsed more date rape victim blame (regardless of victim sex) when the perpetrator was male. Also, men participants (not women participants) that endorsed higher BS toward men (but not toward women) endorsed more victim blame. Two hierarchical multiple regressions (MRs) revealed that two of the three BS subscales (i.e., maternalism and complementary gender differentiation) and one of the three HS subscales (i.e., heterosexual hostility) toward men served as significant predictors of male rape myths and that one BS subscale (i.e., complementary gender differentiation) and overall HS toward women accounted for a significant amount of variance in female rape myths. Interpretations, implications, and limitations of the findings are discussed, and recommendations for future research are offered.
Table of Contents
Abstract -- List of Illustrations -- List of Tables -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction -- Literature Review -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendices A-L -- Reference List -- Vita.