The Society for Social Work and Research

2014 Annual Conference

January 15-19, 2014 I Grand Hyatt San Antonio I San Antonio, TX

An Exploratory Study of Rape Myth Acceptance Among College Students in China

Sunday, January 19, 2014: 8:45 AM
Marriott Riverwalk, River Terrace, Upper Parking Level, Elevator Level P2 (San Antonio, TX)
* noted as presenting author
Jia Xue, Master of Law, Doctoral Student, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Gang Fang, PhD, Associate Professor, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, China
Purpose: Rape is a serious and prevalent problem among university students, especially acquaintance rape. As the product of social misinformation within society, rape myths exit on campus where sexual violence is related to students’ false rape-supportive beliefs. A significant body of studies on rape myths has been conducted in U.S. societies while no related study has been done in Mainland China. A research gap exists concerning the attitudes toward rape myths among Chinese university students. The purpose of this study examined the current state of college students’ attitudes toward rape myths and tested hypotheses that acceptance of rape myths can be predicted from sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, and acceptance of interpersonal violence in Chinese context.

Methods: This study used data from a survey from 1,100 of undergraduate male and female college students at 7 universities throughout China in the spring of 2013. Participants were students enrolled in psychology courses and from a variety of disciplines across campus. A questionnaire was used to address the research question, including measures 1)  Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (Payne, Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1999); 2) Acceptance of interpersonal violence (Burt, 1980); 3) Sex role stereotyping (Burt, 1980); 4) Adversarial Sexual Belief Scale (Burt, 1980). Data analyses included descriptive analyses and multivariate analysis.

Results: As hypothesized, regression analyses showed that college students’ acceptance of rape myths was positively correlated with sexual role stereotyping, acceptance of interpersonal violence and adversarial sexual beliefs, which was consistent with previous study findings in the U.S.

Implications: This exploratory study has significant implications for future studies and intervention of rape on the college campus, and helps educators provide better courses or workshops concerning increasing rape awareness on campus in China. Young generations’ attitudes toward rape myths will affect the future of the whole country and the next generation; thus it is important to understand their attitudes toward rape myths of the under-examined generations of China.