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Title:Rape myths are the theory--romance novels are the practice: The impact of exposure to images of women in popular culture
Author(s):Naber, Christine Marie
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fitzgerald, Louise F.
Department / Program:Literature, Romance
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Romance
Psychology, Social
Women's Studies
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Abstract:The present studies examined the links between exposure to images in popular culture and women's rape judgments. Two experiments were conducted, the first of which examined undergraduate women's (N = 204) judgments about rape following priming with images depicted on romance novel covers. Participants were primed with: (a) slides of romance novel covers thought to codify rape myths, or stereotypical but untrue beliefs about rape and rape victims; (b) slides of romance novel covers representative of heterosexual intimacy unrelated to rape; (c) slides of romance novel covers with the title only; or (d) non-romantic comparison covers from other genres. Participants were then asked to read rape vignettes in which the victim exhibited either high or low physical resistance. Main effects were hypothesized for both priming and resistance on participants' ratings of Victim Credibility, Victim Responsibility, Harm to the Victim, Seriousness of the Act, and Rape Myth Acceptance. In the second experiment, a new group of participants (N = 205) were primed with scenes from romance novels classified as "hero rapes," "villain rapes," consensual sex, or neutral, non-sexual scenes. They then read acquaintance rape vignettes of high or low physical resistance and made judgments about the Victim's Credibility, Responsibility, Harm to the Victim and Seriousness of the Act. It was hypothesized that "hero rapes" as eroticized violence would lead to victim blaming attitudes. The results from both studies confirmed the general hypotheses; exposure to rape myths in textual form (i.e., Title only and Hero Rapes) led to greater victim blaming.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Naber, Christine Marie
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9624447
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9624447

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