By David Lee on June 2, 2010 · tagged as

“You owe me”: rape perceptions after buying dinner

If he buys her dinner, does he expect that they will have sex?  If he rapes her after dinner,  who is blamed for the rape?  In an article recently ePublished in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Basow and Minieri examine questions like this.

I remember many surveys of high school and college students over the last several decades that show similar disturbing, and unsurprising, findings. Here is another study (with data collected from a private Northeastern liberal arts school) to add to this knowledge base about social expectation on a date.

What are the implications for rape prevention?  Would splitting the bill reduce rape? I am glad that rape is no longer assumed to be committed by a “stranger jumping out of bushes” but the concept of  “date rape” might be also dated. We live in a time period where young people do use the term “dating.”   What are the implications of this for rape prevention?

Here is the full abstract and citation.

“You Owe Me”: Effects of Date Cost, Who Pays, Participant Gender, and Rape Myth Beliefs on Perceptions of Rape.

Basow SA, Minieri A. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 2010; ePublished May 4, 2010

Click here for a link to the article on the journal’s web site.

(Copyright © 2010, Sage Publications)

Sexual social exchange theory was applied to perceptions of a date rape by manipulating the cost of the date and who paid in vignettes presented to 188 U.S. college students, who then rated the characters’ sexual expectations, blame, responsibility, and rape justifiability. Findings from this between-participant design partially supported predictions: When the man paid for an expensive date, men agreed more than did women that both characters should have expected sexual intercourse. Conversely, when the costs of an inexpensive date were split, the perpetrator was assigned the most blame, and women agreed more than men that no sexual expectations were warranted. Participant gender affected some responses, although level of rape myth acceptance was the main predictor of rape perceptions.

David Lee

More Posts by David Lee

David S. Lee, MPH, is the Director of Prevention Services at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault where he provides training and technical assistance on prevention. David manages the national project PreventConnect, an online community of violence against women prevention practitioners, funders, researchers and activists. For over 27 years David has worked in efforts to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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