Adolescent Attitudes Toward Victim Precipitation of Rape

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Abstract

Adolescents have high rates of rape victimization and offending compared to other age groups, yet few studies have examined predictors of rape-supportive attitudes among adolescents. Drawing from Burt's (1980) study of rape myth acceptance among adults, this study tests a path analytic model of adolescent attitudes about victim precipitation of rape, using a sample of 1393 cases from the National Youth Survey (NYS) (Elliott, Ageton, Huizinga, Knowles, & Cantor, 1983). LISREL (Jöreskeg & Sörbom, 1988) estimation procedures are applied. Results show direct effects of sociocultural influences on an individual's level of rape myth acceptance, but demonstrate some interesting gender differences. Findings also reveal indirect effects of age, race, and socioeconomic status on attitudes toward rape, which operate through traditional gender role stereotyping. Educating young adolescents about the nature of rape and the rights and roles of women are logical points of intervention to decrease acceptance of rape myths that target the victim.

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