Research Outcomes

In a peer reviewed empirical study on newly hired resident assistants, Ending Rape showed evidence of lowering participants’ rape myth acceptance and increasing their understanding of what constitutes rape in both the immediate and long-term assessments.

Edwards, K. E. (2009). Effectiveness of a sexual assault prevention program on reducing participants’ rape myth acceptance and increasing their understanding of rape definitions. College Student Affairs Journal, 28.

“The purpose of this study was to explore the immediate and long-term impact of a preventative sexual assault education program, She Fears You: Men Ending Rape. This program did show evidence of lowering participants’ acceptance of rape myths and increasing their understanding of what constitutes rape and sexual assault in both immediate and long-term assessments over the course of a 14-week academic semester. These results with regard to RMA are significant because, although rape myth acceptance remains the most common measure of program effectiveness (Gidycz et al., 2001) and evidence of short-term change in rape myth acceptance is relatively common, long-term impact is rarely measured (Berkowitz, 2004). Rape prevention programs that demonstrate long-term impact on RMA have a greater chance of influencing behavior and preventing rape.

The results of this study also indicate that participants gained a better understanding of rape and sexual assault and that this increased understanding also was sustained over the course of the 14-week semester. This finding is significant for both male and female participants in the study. Male participants with a greater understanding of rape are less likely to become unknowing perpetrators (Berkowitz, 2002; Koss et al., 1987). Female participants knowledgeable about definitions of rape who experience sexual assault are less likely to engage in self-blame and more likely seek support and resources as survivors. An accurate understanding of sexual assault is also important for these participants in their roles as resident assistants considering the leadership, role modeling, policy enforcement, and support role they are expected fulfill.”