Author(s)

Caroline Feinberg

Date Approved

6-22-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Department

Psychology

College

College of Science & Mathematics

First Advisor

Angelone, D.J.

Subject(s)

Rape;Sexism

Disciplines

Psychiatric and Mental Health

Abstract

Rape is a significant social and health problem in the United States with around 17.7 million women being forcibly raped at some time in their lives. While a rape-supportive culture and victim blame are concepts that aid in explaining rape, understanding societal held ideas about rape and traditional gender role beliefs can explain. Therefore, the present study focuses on how ambivalent sexist belief structures mediate the relationship between gender and rape myth acceptance. It was hypothesized that ambivalent sexism (AS) when divided into its four separate concepts: hostile (HS), protective paternalism (PP), complementary gender differentiation (CGD), and heterosexual intimacy (HI), that each would mediate the relationship between gender and rape myth acceptance (RMA). Participants were 626 college students (51% male) who completed the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI) and the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (IRMA). Mediation analyses were tested using the bootstrapping method with bias-corrected confidence estimates. It was found that HS, CGD, and HI mediated the relationship between gender and RMA. This suggests that the role of traditional gender role beliefs is facilitating victim blame and a rape-supportive culture.

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