Investigating the demographic and attitudinal predictors of rape myth acceptance in U.K. Police officers: developing an evidence-base for training and professional development

Anthony Murphy*, Benjamin Hine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
389 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Efforts to understand rape myth acceptance (RMA) as a cognitive framework in police, unifying key cognitive/attitudinal and demographic factors into one coherent model, are lacking. Using a cross-sectional survey design, predictors of RMA were assessed by linear hierarchical regression, including demographic (age, length of service, gender, experience of specialist rape investigation training) and attitudinal factors (hostility towards women, sexist attitudes, and explicit power/sex beliefs) among officers from a large U.K. police force (N = 912). The final model explained 44% of variance in RMA. Gender and previous specialist training significantly predicted RMA, but to a much lesser extent than attitudinal variables, which explain 42% of RMA variance. Only specialist rape investigation training remained significant when attitudinal variables were added. The greater contribution from attitudinal variables suggests that efforts to address RMA in officers must consider the broader attitudinal structures underpinning RMA. Findings highlight implications for evidence-based training for rape investigators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-89
Number of pages21
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Volume25
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • police investigation
  • police officers
  • Rape
  • rape myths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law

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