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Oppression Through Acceptance?: Predicting Rape Myth Acceptance and Attitudes Toward Rape Victims

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 15 Issue: 8 Dated: August 2009 Pages: 877-897
Jericho M. Hockett; Donald A. Saucier; Bethany H. Hoffman; Sara J. Smith; Adam W. Craig
Date Published
August 2009
21 pages
This study examined the relationships among individuals' acceptance of rape myths, their negative attitudes toward rape victims, and their general intergroup dominance.
Findings support the dominance theories of rape motivation: individuals who accept rape myths (beliefs that trivialize or justify sexual violence) and hold negative attitudes toward rape and rape victims do so as a part of an overall intolerant belief system that includes support for social hierarchies in which men are dominant. Study findings suggest that maintenance of a social hierarchy in which men are dominant may play a role in their beliefs about rape and rape victims, which, by extension of previous research, may be related to their rape proclivity. Data were collected from 161 undergraduate students who voluntarily participated in the study. Approximately one-third were male, and all were between 19 and 24 years of age. Questionnaires included measurements of attitude toward rape and rape victims, general intergroup dominance measures, sex-based oppression measures, empathy measures, and measures of conservatism and social justice and desirability. Tables, figure, and references