Title

Rape-Related Beliefs and Social Reactions

Presenter Information

Tara PursleyFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Graduate

Major

Clinical Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Marie Karlsson, Ph.D

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Rape-Related Beliefs and Social Reactions

Rape-related beliefs are strong predictors for how victims and non-victims conceptualize and label unwanted sexual experiences. Less is known about the way that these beliefs influence non-victims’ responses to a disclosure, which was the focus of the current online study. We hypothesized that participants who label vignettes (descriptions of “stranger” and “seduction” rapes) as something other than rape would respond significantly different to victims’ disclosure of sexual assault than those who labeled them as rape.

Participants included 119 female college students (Mage = 19.23, SD = 1.98; 81% White). Results from independent-samples t-tests revealed that those who labeled the “seduction rape” vignette as rape gave fewer negative reactions (n = 97; M = 0.51, SD = 0.36) than those who did not label it as rape (N = 21; M = 0.89, SD = 0.49; t (24.83) = 3.30, p = .003). Also, those who labeled this vignette as rape gave more positive reactions (M = 3.31, SD = 0.42) than those who did not label this vignette as rape (M = 2.78, SD = 0.44; t (116) = -5.82, p = .00). There were no differences regarding positive or negative reactions between those who labeled the “stranger rape” vignette as rape (n = 111) compared to those who did not (n = 6).

This suggests that one’s beliefs and conceptualizations about sexual assault can affect the way they respond victim of sexual assault.

Keywords: rape-related beliefs, disclosure, negative reactions, positive reactions

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Psychology Department Panel: Completed Projects

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Rape-Related Beliefs and Social Reactions

Rape-Related Beliefs and Social Reactions

Rape-related beliefs are strong predictors for how victims and non-victims conceptualize and label unwanted sexual experiences. Less is known about the way that these beliefs influence non-victims’ responses to a disclosure, which was the focus of the current online study. We hypothesized that participants who label vignettes (descriptions of “stranger” and “seduction” rapes) as something other than rape would respond significantly different to victims’ disclosure of sexual assault than those who labeled them as rape.

Participants included 119 female college students (Mage = 19.23, SD = 1.98; 81% White). Results from independent-samples t-tests revealed that those who labeled the “seduction rape” vignette as rape gave fewer negative reactions (n = 97; M = 0.51, SD = 0.36) than those who did not label it as rape (N = 21; M = 0.89, SD = 0.49; t (24.83) = 3.30, p = .003). Also, those who labeled this vignette as rape gave more positive reactions (M = 3.31, SD = 0.42) than those who did not label this vignette as rape (M = 2.78, SD = 0.44; t (116) = -5.82, p = .00). There were no differences regarding positive or negative reactions between those who labeled the “stranger rape” vignette as rape (n = 111) compared to those who did not (n = 6).

This suggests that one’s beliefs and conceptualizations about sexual assault can affect the way they respond victim of sexual assault.

Keywords: rape-related beliefs, disclosure, negative reactions, positive reactions