Does Perpetrator and Victim Gender Determine Rape Myth Acceptance?

Olivia Kleinsmith, Olivia Hahn, Abbey Tomchik, Meredith Gramstand, Callie Doyle

Presentation Type/ Session Time:
HTH 408 Research Symposium
December 7, 2021


Rape Myth Acceptance is usually based on one’s perceptions of gender roles and opinions of sexuality. The purpose of this study is to identify and understand what role gender played in the rape narrative among college students. Most of the participants imagined the victim to be female and the perpetrator to be male. This supported the idea that holding traditional gender stereotypes is positively related to rape myth acceptance. Overall, Rape Myth Acceptance scores measured in this study were low. RMA scores are decreasing due to public awareness increasing and lack of implicit bias.

Faculty Comments - Dayna Henry

Both of the winning posters from my class resulted from two groups of students expressing interest in working on a research project that might result in a publication with a faculty member. Investigating sexual assault perceptions and prevention is one of many topics my research team investigates. The students were provided the Rape Myth Acceptance Scales and informed we wished to explore whether the gendered nature of the scales impacted rape myths. The two groups of students independently searched the literature for any existing studies, developed an online survey which we later combined, co-submitted the IRB application, completed the recruitment for the study, then divided up the data to clean, analyze, and write up for their projects. This semester, the students who are interested in the publication process were given the opportunity to take the lead on developing a conference presentation and helping to write the paper up for publication.