U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Changing Misconceptions About Rape Through Informational Campaigns - A Model

NCJ Number
Victimology Volume: 9 Issue: 2 Dated: (1984) Pages: 262-272
F W Winkel
Date Published
11 pages
Recent proposals to use informational campaigns to remove public rape misconceptions take for granted the assumption that these are effective instruments resulting in success.
Here this assumption is critically tested on the basis of a model in which a rape misconception is operationalized as an opinion-discrepancy between communicator and receiver and functionally related to their respective 'weights'. When this model is applied to the misconception that rape victims are themselves chiefly responsible for their fate it is concluded that campaigns run a high risk of strengthening it. Several strategies to avoid this boomerang effect are discussed. (Author abstract)