Bystander Sexual Violence Prevention Programs: Are They Working With High-Risk University Males?
Methods. A bystander sexual violence prevention program was presented to 142 fraternity members. A quasi-experimental design utilizing pre-, post-, and follow-up surveys was used to compare the effectiveness of the program with university males who are at low- and high-risk of using sexually coercive behavior in intervention (n = 79) and comparison (n = 63) groups.
Participants’ risk status was measured using the Modified-Sexual Experiences Survey, which assesses self-reported sexually coercive behavior. Two outcome measures were used to evaluate changes in attitudes related to rape myth acceptance and bystander attitudes: The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale – Short Form and The Bystander Attitudes Scale – Revised. Three outcome measures were used to evaluate changes in behaviors related to sexual violence and bystander behavior: The Modified-Sexual Experiences Survey, the Modified Attraction to Sexual Aggression Scale, and the Bystander Behaviors Scale – Revised.
Repeated-Measures Analysis of Covariances were computed for participants who had multiple data scores. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were also computed to determine if risk status, ethnicity, or fraternity leadership predicted outcomes on the dependent measures.
Results. Among intervention group participants, a main effect of testing time was found for rape myth acceptance, F(2,68)=2.51, p<.10, sexually coercive behaviors, F(1,34)=6.66, p<.05, and sexually coercive behavioral intentions, F(2,68)=4.84, p<.05. For low-risk men in the intervention group, a main effect of testing time was found for rape myth acceptance, F(2,46)=2.49, p<.10, and sexually coercive behavioral intentions, F(2,46)=2.46, p<.10. For high-risk men in the intervention group, a main effect of testing time was found for sexually coercive behaviors, F(1,10)=5.85, p<.05. No significant differences were found on any outcome measures in the comparison group.
Risk status significantly predicted rape myth acceptance (β=.22, p<.05), bystander attitudes (β=-.18, p<.05), sexually coercive behaviors (β=.58, p<.001), and sexually coercive behavioral intentions (β=.32, p<.001). Ethnicity significantly predicted rape myth acceptance (β=-.26, p<.05), bystander attitudes (β=.15, p<.05), and bystander behaviors (β=.45, p<.05). Fraternity leadership significantly predicated bystander attitudes (β=.26, p<.05).
Implications. This bystander sexual violence prevention program had a positive impact on attitudes and behaviors related to sexual violence among fraternity members, however, the program had less impact on high-risk males. Since both risk status and ethnicity predicted outcomes related to sexual violence, it is important to focus on determining the effect of programs on both high- and low-risk males and developing culturally relevant bystander interventions.