Rape myth acceptance reflects perceptions of media portrayals as similar to others, but not the self
Elmore, K. C., Scull, T. M., Malik, C., & Kupersmidt, J. B. (2020). Rape myth acceptance reflects perceptions of media portrayals as similar to others, but not the self. Violence Against Women, 1077801220908335-1077801220908335. doi:10.1177/1077801220908335
Objectives: Examine the linkages between media-related cognitions and rape myth acceptance among young adult men and women in a community college setting.
Methods: 286 community college students (ages 18-19) from colleges in the southeastern United States received a web-based questionnaire with assessments of rape myth acceptance, media-related cognitions, and demographic information.
Results: Students who perceived greater similarity between people they know and people in media reported higher endorsement of rape myths that blame the victim and exonerate the accused. This relationship did not emerge for perceptions of one’s personal similarity to people in media, with the exception of men’s endorsement of myths exonerating male perpetrators.
Conclusions: Media messaging can have a cumulative and potentially insidious impact on beliefs about the causes of sexual victimization.