Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Rape occurs too frequently in this country. What legally constitutes rape is a contentious issue and theorists debate the causes of rape. The current study discusses four theories which attempt to explain the causes of rape, including the just world, evolutionary, feminist, and social learning theories. Although theorists debate about the cause of rape, they agree the prevention of rape is important. Rape prevention often takes the form of educational programs requiring a large time commitment on the part of participants. No research study has attempted to use a brief method of rape education. Pornography research has shown educational briefings are useful as a method of lowering negative attitudes toward women and attitudes supportive of violence against women. Therefore, these briefings prevent attitudes that may contribute to rape. This study attempted to use pornographic briefings as a rape education program. The researcher recruited 128 participants from a public university in the Midwestern United States. The researcher assigned participants to one of three groups: the brief educational group, the traditional educational group, or the control group. In the brief group, participants were asked to read the briefing and fill out a survey. Participants in the traditional group watched a traditional rape educational video before completing the survey. The control group participants simply filled out the survey. A series of one-way MANOVAs were conducted to determine if group membership (i.e., traditional, brief, or control) impacted scores on the combined dependent variables. These were conducted separately for males and females due to research finding a significant affect of sex. The MANOVA was not significant for males or females, indicating group membership did not affect Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence, Rape Myth Acceptance, or the Attraction to Sexual Aggression. The research did find females endorsed less attitudes accepting of rape myths and violence against women than men. These findings imply the brief education piece was not successful in reducing attitudes supportive of violence against women and rape myths. There were flaws in the current research including the dated nature of the traditional video. The limitations of the current study result in inconclusive findings and leave room for further research. It is possible that future research will find a brief rape education piece effective.


Dr. Jennifer Bonds Raacke

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type



© 2013 Jessica Nilson


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