ERIC Number: ED264473
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Perceptions of Rape.
Witten, Barbara J.; Remer, Rory
Society does not view rape seriously. Few rape crimes are successfully prosecuted. Rape results in permanent alteration of the victim's life. Besides street rape there is no consensus on the definition of rape. This study attempts to gather people's perceptions of rape. Subjects (N=96) were approached randomly and accepted if they fit into desired gender and socioeconomic group blocks. A questionnaire using semantic differential was given to participants who defined rape relative to other constructs in their semantic spaces. Four concepts (rape, seduction, assault, and making love) were used and grouped in different orders to avoid association bias. Participants were told that the survey was about a variety of topics and the construct rape was not mentioned. The results showed that males viewed seduction and making love as similar, while females viewed seduction and assault as similar. Socioeconomic group did not have any effect except in interaction between gender and socioeconomic group on the assault-making love semantic space. Race and family type had no effects. Thirty percent of the male and 35 percent of the female respondents reported that they or someone they knew had a prior rape incident. For those reporting this prior experience, the gender effect was negated and males viewed assault and seduction as more similar to rape than to making love. Further rape research might utilize this important variable. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, Chicago, IL, March 31-April 4, 1985).