Rape Myths Among Appalachian College Students

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Rape myths regularly admonish victims for supposedly provoking the violence done against them. While rape attitudes have been studied in national and urban samples, the support of rape myths in rural populations is seldom investigated. Furthermore, the few empirical studies on sexual coercion in Appalachia are mostly descriptive and rarely compare the sentiments of Appalachians and non-Appalachians. To address this gap, this study surveyed 512 college students at a public university in Eastern Kentucky. In testing an Appalachian distinctiveness question, this study revealed that Appalachian students were less likely to criticize rape victims. Students were also less inclined to condemn rape victims when they were victims themselves, came from egalitarian families, stayed in college longer, rejected modern sexism, and felt little animosity toward women.

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