Rape myth acceptance in convicted rapists: A systematic review of the literature

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Aim: The review examines studies on rape myth acceptance (RMA) within populations of convicted sexual offenders, changes in RMA due to interventions, comparisons between sexual offenders and community controls, comparisons within the offending population, and relationships between RMA and other psychological constructs linked to criminogenic need.

Method: The search employed electronic databases, OvidSP, Web of Science, and Proquest; hand searching reference lists; and contacting 35 experts in the field. Inclusion/exclusion and quality appraisal criteria were applied to each study.

Results: Eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Results highlighted differences in subgroups of rapists for different aspects of RMA; while rapists can be distinguished from non-offenders and non-sexual offenders on measures of RMA, they cannot be significantly discriminated from child molesters; rapists and sexual murders cannot be distinguished using RMA scores; RMA was not found to be a significant predictor of sexual or violence recidivism; and significant positive change in RMA was reported after sex offenders completed treatment programs.

Conclusions: Differences in scores on RMA subscales amongst rapists' typologies were discovered, which may indicate differences in beliefs within each type. Implications for practice are discussed.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-34
JournalAggression and Violent Behavior
Volume34
Early online date18 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017

Keywords

  • Rape myth acceptance , Rapist typology , Rapists , Sex offending , Offence-supportive attitudes