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Sexual Abuse Prevention With High-Risk Males: The Roles of Victim Empathy and Rape Myths

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The outcome of two sexual abuse prevention programs, one emphasizing victim empathy and the other stressing modifying rape myths, was evaluated with high-risk males. Sixty-eight high-risk males, as determined by self-reported likelihood of committing sexual abuse, were randomly assigned to an empathy-treatment, a facts-treatment, or a no-treatment control group. Treatment effects were assessed using subjects' pre- and post-treatment scores on the Likelihood of Sexually Abusing scale, the Rape Empathy Scale, the Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence scale, the Adversarial Sexual Beliefs Scale, and a test of self-reported sexual arousal to forced versus consenting sex. In addition, posttest scores on an Asch-type conformity measure were obtained. Results of validity checks indicated that high-risk subjects differed from low-risk subjects on a number of rape-related variables, that the victim-empathy condition increased subjects' empathy, and that subjects found both treatments to be credible and helpful. Comparisons between the empathy-, facts-, and no-treatment group contraindicated the practice of dispelling rape myths as a method of preventing rape among high-risk males.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Northern Illinois University

Publication date: January 1, 1993

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