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  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRPAHY

    USE

    Correlates of Rape Myth Acceptance, Pornography Use, and Personality Traits in Undergraduate

    Students

    Casey J. Lalonde

    Department of Psychology

    Laurentian University

    April 8, 2016

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 2

    Abstract

    The purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship between personality and

    pornography use in predicting rape myth acceptance. Rape myth acceptance was measured

    using The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (1999); pornography use was measured the

    Pornography Use Measure (2014) as well as a direct question asking participants if they watch

    pornography (yes/no); personality was measured using Cattells 16PF, 5th Edition. A total of 67

    participants (40 females, 27 males) were used in the analysis. Overall, rape myth acceptance was

    found higher in males than females overall, but was lower in males who knew a victim of sexual

    assault, particularly on the rape-myth subset rape is a trivial event. The global personality

    factors for Independence and Extraversion correlated negatively with rape myth acceptance in

    males; the global factor for Self Control correlated positively with rape myth acceptance for

    males. The global personality factor for Tough-Mindedness correlated positively in both males

    and females. No significant findings were found for pornography use.

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 3

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank Dr. Valliant for his advising and assistance throughout this project. I would

    also like to thank Dr. Emond and Dr. Urajnik for their help and instruction throughout the

    course. I would like to thank my friends for encouraging me to pursue this thesis topic. I would

    also like to thank my family for being supportive of my education.

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 4

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................. 7

    Definitions................................................................................................................................... 7

    Statistics ...................................................................................................................................... 8

    Research Questions ................................................................................................................... 10

    Rationale ................................................................................................................................... 11

    Literature Review...................................................................................................................... 13

    CHAPTER 2 - METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................... 32

    Hypotheses ................................................................................................................................ 32

    Participants ................................................................................................................................ 33

    Procedure .................................................................................................................................. 34

    Variables ................................................................................................................................... 35

    Measures ................................................................................................................................... 36

    Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................ 38

    CHATPER 3 - RESULTS ............................................................................................................. 40

    Rape Myth Acceptance and Gender ......................................................................................... 40

    Rape Myth Acceptance and Knowing a Victim of Sexual Assault .......................................... 41

    Rape Myth Acceptance and Personality ................................................................................... 42

    Pornography Use ....................................................................................................................... 52

    CHAPTER 4: DISCUSSION ........................................................................................................ 54

    Limitations ................................................................................................................................ 60

    Implications and Applications for Future Research.................................................................. 62

    Conclusion ................................................................................................................................ 64

    REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................. 65

    APPENDIX A PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES USED FOR INVESTIGATION .................. 70

    Demographic Questionnaire ..................................................................................................... 70

    Pornography Use Measure Modified ..................................................................................... 71

    Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale Short Form ................................................................. 73

    APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT ................................................................................... 77

    APPENDIX C RECRUITMENT SCRIPT ................................................................................ 78

    APPENDIX D TEST INSTRUCTIONS ................................................................................... 79

    APPENDIX E DEBRIEFING FORM ....................................................................................... 80

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 5

    LIST OF FIGURES

    Figure 1- Mean Rape Myth Acceptance & Gender ...................................................................... 40

    Figure 2 - Mean Rape Myth Acceptance, Males, Know Victim .................................................. 41

    Figure 3 - "Rape is a Trivial Event", Males, Know Victim .......................................................... 42

    Figure 4 - Extraversion and RMA, Males r=-.45, p

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 6

    LIST OF TABLES

    Table 1 - Sexual Assault Rates in Canada, 2004 ............................................................................ 8

    Table 2 - Summary of Correlations - Payne et al. 1999................................................................ 19

    Table 3 - Summary of Findings, Foubert et al.2011 ..................................................................... 25

    Table 4 - Statistical Tests .............................................................................................................. 39

    Table 5 - Primary Factor Correlations with RMA - Males ........................................................... 43

    Table 6 - Global Personality Factor Correlations - Male and Female .......................................... 44

    Table 7 - Self Control and RMA, Males, Regression ................................................................... 50

    Table 8 - Extraversion and RMA, Males, Regression .................................................................. 50

    Table 9 - Independence and RMA, Males, Regression ................................................................ 50

    Table 10 - Tough Mindedness, Males, Regression ....................................................................... 51

    Table 11 - Tough Mindedness, females, Regression .................................................................... 51

  • RUNNING HEAD: RAPE MYTH ACCEPTANCE, PERSONALITY, AND PORNOGRAPHY USE

    Lalonde 7

    CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION

    Definitions

    Rape. Sexual contact or penetration achieved: without consent, or; with the use of

    physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and or; when the victim is: mentally incapacitated or

    impaired, physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption),

    asleep or unconscious (Pandoras Project, 2009).

    Criminal Code of Canada Definitions of Sexual Assault. The Canadian Criminal Code

    was amended in 1983 to replace the word rape with sexual assault; this focuses on the violent

    aspect of the crime instead of the sexual nature of it (Brennan & Taylor-Butts, 2008).

    Sexual Assault. A term used to refer to all incidents of unwanted sexual activity,

    including sexual attacks and sexual touching.

    Rape Myths. Attitudes and beliefs that are generally false but are widely and persistently

    held, and that serve to deny and justify sexual aggression (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994).

    Rape Myth Acceptance. Believing in rape myths; believing that one can distinguish

    between real rape and other events (Estrich, 1987).

    Rape Supportive Cultures. Cultures in which sexual assault is normalized or tolerated,