Rape Perceptions

Some 40 years have passed since the initial groundbreaking research conducted by Neil Malamuth and colleagues that cast a spotlight on the effects of sexually violent media (see Malamuth, Addison, & Koss, 2001, for a review of the literature). Those early studies, many of them experimental, focused on the effects of exposure to printed rape depictions, audiotaped rape depictions, and depictions of rape in mainstream films. Findings pointed to significant positive relationships between exposure to sexually violent content and (a) acceptance of violence against women and (b) males’ self-reported likelihood of raping. Survey research also emerged at this time indicating a positive relationship between exposure to sexually explicit (relative to mainstream) magazines such as Penthouse and Playboy and men’s and women’s acceptance of rape myths.

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