An Examination of the Attitudes Underlying Sexual Coercion Among Acquaintances

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Analyses of rape-supportive attitudes, with few exceptions, have not included conceptual or operational definitions of attitudes, and analysts have not explicitly examined the affective, cognitive, and behavioral components of attitudes toward rape. The purposes of the present article are to (a) use a social psychological framework for the analysis of attitudes toward rape and (b) examine the usefulness of distinguishing between the affective and cognitive components of attitudes toward rape. Three studies are presented. In Study 1, items from 14 published attitudes-toward-rape scales were categorized as affective, cognitive, or behavioral. Results revealed that 1.1% of the items were identified as behavioral; 52.2% of the items were categorized as cognitive and 46.7% as affective. Secondary analyses of published data revealed the respondents reported more disagreement with affectively-based rape attitude items than cognitively-based rape attitude items. In Study 2, we further examined the distinction between affective and cognitive components of attitudes using Burt's (1980) Rape Myth Acceptance Scale. Data collected from college men confirmed the affective-cognitive distinction. Furthermore, affectively-based attitudes, but not cognitively-based attitudes, were correlated with level of self-reported sexual coercion. In Study 3, we compared affective and cognitive components using a factor-analytically derived attitude measure. These analyses replicated the findings from Study 2. Together, these results support the importance of attending to the separate components of attitudes. In particular, the affective component of attitudes toward rape may have more predictive utility than the cognitive component.

Additional Information

Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality. 8, 27-48
Language: English
Date: 1996
Sexual coercion , Rape attitudes, Affectively-based attitudes, Cognitively-based attitudes, Behaviorally-based attitudes

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