Measurement of Rape Myth Acceptance and Juror Decision-Making Regarding Internet-Facilitated Rape

Date

2023-12

Authors

Dinkins, Barbara Joyce

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Abstract

Several measures of rape myth acceptance (RMA) exist. With varying ages and few assessments of convergent validity, empirical justification for choice of measure is lacking. The first study assessed the convergent validity of five RMA measures: the RMAS (Burt, 1980), the RMS (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1995), the Bumby (1996) RAPE scale, the AMMSA (Gerger et al., 2007) scale, and the U-IRMA (McMahon & Farmer, 2011) scale. Correlations and factor analysis were applied using a sample of 1265 undergraduates. This study found substantial and largely sufficient overlap (correlations of above .7) among the measures, suggesting no issues in treating them as the same construct in meta-analyses. The U-IRMA is recommended for general measurement of RMA. The internet has provided a new place for rapists to meet their future victims. Internetfacilitated rape (IFR) makes for sensational headlines, but has had little research. The second study sought to determine if mock jurors treat IFRs differently than non-IFRs. A total of 540 undergraduate participants viewed a randomly assigned vignette depicting a rape case where the offender and victim had previously met at one of the following: a party (non-IFR), a social media site (IFR), or a dating app (IFR). No notable effects of IFR conditions were found. U-IRMA was related to lower likelihood of guilt, less severe recommended sentence, a more esteemed opinion of the offender, and a worse opinion of the victim. Jurors appear to treat IFRs the same as nonIFR cases involving acquaintances.

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Keywords

measurement, rape, juror decision-making, rape myth acceptance

Citation

Dinkins, B. J. (2023). Measurement of rape myth acceptance and juror decision-making regarding internet-facilitated rape (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.

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