An intervention designed to modify attitudes toward acquaintance rape in college students

Pamela Reed Gibson, University of Rhode Island


A one hour date rape prevention workshop was given to a randomly selected group of 438 freshman orientation students at a Northeastern university. The other students received either alcohol awareness or cultural diversity workshops. Two months later, 271 students attended an orientation follow-up meeting in which they responded to a video depiction of a date rape, questionnaires about experienced and perpetrated sexual victimization within the last 2 months, and rape attitudes as measured by the Tolerance for Sexual Harassment Scale, Rape Myth Acceptance, Adversarial Sexual Beliefs, Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence, and shortened versions of the Endorsement of Force Scale and Rape Empathy Scale. There were 220 usable questionnaires. Items pertaining to experienced and perpetrated victimization were examined individually with chi-squares, and no differences were found between Experimental and Control Groups. Attitudinal items were analyzed by 2 x 2 ANOVAS (gender x treatment). There were no effects for gender or treatment in how students responded to the man in the video depiction. All groups blamed the man for the assault. There were gender differences in participants' responses to the woman in the video with men blaming the woman for the assault more than women did. All attitude scales showed highly significant gender differences with men endorsing more belief in rape myths, more acceptance of violence and force in dating relationships, more belief in the adversarial nature of cross-gender relationships, and less empathy for a rape victim. There were no differences as a result of treatment on any variables.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Pamela Reed Gibson, "An intervention designed to modify attitudes toward acquaintance rape in college students" (1991). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9217527.