Submission Type

Poster

Start Date

4-21-2022

Abstract

Rape is a highly gendered crime, understood to be driven by power due to gendered sex roles supporting male domination and female exploitation (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975). Indeed, rape culture is inherently tied to power; scholars suggest rape cultures are those which are male-dominated and male-governed environments. Recent work using secondary data, however, challenged this assumption, finding that greater numbers of sexual assaults occurred in environments in which men held less power (Gravelin et al., unpublished). Our work seeks to empirically explore this finding and determine the impact of relative power between men and women on evaluations of acceptance for sexual violence and safety in reporting sexual violence. Specifically, through random assignment participants are either led to believe that men have greater social power relative to women, women have greater social power relative to men, or serve as a control. All participants then complete a series of assessments including evaluations of acceptance of sexual violence and feelings of safety in reporting a sexual assault. We expect to find that when women are portrayed as in power, men will be more accepting of sexual violence whereas women will feel greater safety in reporting. Conversely, rates of acceptance of sexual violence will be the same for men in the male power and control conditions, while feelings of safety in reporting among women may decrease. Data collection is ongoing but suggests a potential reconsideration of the acceptance of sexual violence scale, as the current floor effect indicates a social desirability bias in responding.

Comments

Sponsored by Claire Gravelin

COinS
 
Apr 21st, 12:00 AM

220 -- The Role of Gender Equality on Sexual Assault

Rape is a highly gendered crime, understood to be driven by power due to gendered sex roles supporting male domination and female exploitation (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975). Indeed, rape culture is inherently tied to power; scholars suggest rape cultures are those which are male-dominated and male-governed environments. Recent work using secondary data, however, challenged this assumption, finding that greater numbers of sexual assaults occurred in environments in which men held less power (Gravelin et al., unpublished). Our work seeks to empirically explore this finding and determine the impact of relative power between men and women on evaluations of acceptance for sexual violence and safety in reporting sexual violence. Specifically, through random assignment participants are either led to believe that men have greater social power relative to women, women have greater social power relative to men, or serve as a control. All participants then complete a series of assessments including evaluations of acceptance of sexual violence and feelings of safety in reporting a sexual assault. We expect to find that when women are portrayed as in power, men will be more accepting of sexual violence whereas women will feel greater safety in reporting. Conversely, rates of acceptance of sexual violence will be the same for men in the male power and control conditions, while feelings of safety in reporting among women may decrease. Data collection is ongoing but suggests a potential reconsideration of the acceptance of sexual violence scale, as the current floor effect indicates a social desirability bias in responding.

 

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