Hatfield School of Government. Division of Criminology and Criminal Justice
Date of Award
Master of Science (M.S.) in Criminology and Criminal Justice
Criminology and Criminal Justice
1 online resource (ix, 64 pages)
Rape -- Public opinion, Rape -- Prevention, Sex crimes -- Prevention
Sexual assault has come to the forefront in terms of prevention and education for many social institutions such as college campuses. However, with a growing body of research highlighting the importance and effectiveness of interventions, research examining the impact of rape-related education on altering rape myth acceptance (RMA) among non-student populations is severely lacking. This is a problematic gap given the issue of sexual assault in the United States extends well beyond academia. The current study aimed to fill this gap by employing an experimental design with repeated measures. To detect changes in RMA after a short rape myth education intervention, pretest and posttest RMA scores were generated for all participants by using an altered version of the Updated Illinois Rape Myth Adherence scale. A sample of 137 non-students were surveyed via Amazon's Mechanical Turk and randomly assigned to a treatment (educational intervention) or control (unrelated video content). The treatment video was roughly ten minutes in length and constructed by the author for the purpose of the current research, after a search for a similar informal and accessible, but still research-based, video was not successful. Participants were presented with common rape myths and then provided with information (e.g., accessible research/statistics) with the aim to "debunk" these myths, and ultimately decrease acceptance of myths. Analyses indicate support for a significant change in RMA scores from pretest to posttest in the treatment group, finding support for the use of informal rape myth education in altering immediate RMA scores of a non-student sample. RMA scores were also examined by demographics to determine if within-group differences were present in the sample. No consistent results emerged in both the treatment and control group. Limitations and implications for future research are discussed
Reddy, Leah Noelle, "An Experimental Study on the Impact of Informal Rape Myth Education to Alter Rape Myth Acceptance Scores in a Non-Student Sample" (2018). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4460.