An investigation of the effect of education, age, female siblings, marital status and relationships on males students' attitude to rape and empathy towards the rape victim

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Barrett, Mary
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The current study investigates the effect of education (DV) concerning the impact of rape on a female and further information regarding rape in Ireland, on participants' attitudes and empathy toward rape (IVs). The effect of the additional independent variables of age, female siblings, marital status and relationships were also examined. The present experiment consisted of a mixed samples design involving 87 male students (aged 18-51 years) from DIT Mount joy Square. There were two conditions; in the first participants (n 44) were provided with information via an audiotape concerning the effect of rape before completing both Field's (1978) Attitudes Toward Rape and Deitz et al.'s (1982) Rape Empathy Scale. In the second condition participants (n = 42) were not exposed to the above information prior to the completion of the given questionnaires. A MANOVA indicates a significant difference in the ATR and RES scales between participants who received education on rape and those who did not (Wilks A = F (6,70) = 2.984, P < 0.05). Furthermore, a follow-up ANOV A test indicated that those in the educated condition expressed less rape tolerant attitudes regarding female responsibility in rape prevention (F (1,75) = 0.15, P < 0.05, n2 = 0.076) and precipitation of rape (F (1,75) = 0.10, P < 0.05, Ih == 0.86) than those in the non-educated condition. Additionally, an ANOV A test for the RES scale also proved significant (F (1, 75) 0.006, < 0.01, Ih 0.096). Hence, the results indicate that those exposed to education on rape express less rape tolerant attitudes in relation to female responsibility and precipitation of rape and demonstrate greater empathy for female victims of rape than participants who are not exposed to such education.