Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 455–471 | Cite as

Rape prevention with high-risk males: Short-term outcome of two interventions

  • Paul A. Schewe
  • William O'Donohue


Two model-based interventions designed to reduce the amount of date rape attempted by male college students were developed and evaluated. The Rape Supportive Cognitions (RSC) intervention targeted commonly held false beliefs that promote or condone coercive sexual behavior. The Victim Empathy/Outcome Expectancies (VE/OE) intervention targeted poor victim empathy and problematic rape outcome expectancies. Seventy-four high-risk subjects as determined by scores on the Attraction to Sexual Aggression scale (ASA) (Malamuth, 1989) were randomly assigned to one of the treatment groups (RSC or VE/OE) or to a no-treatment control group. Treatment effects were assessed using subjects' pre- and posttreatment scores on the ASA, the Rape Myth Acceptance, the Acceptance of Interpersonal Violence, and the Adversarial Sexual Beliefs scales (Burt, 1980), as well as subjects' posttreatment scores on the Rape Conformity Assessment (Schewe and O'Donohue, 1995). Results indicated that both treatments were significantly more effective than no treatment. The RSC group showed clinically significant changes on three of the five dependent measures, while the VE/OE group evidenced clinically significant changes on only one measure. This is the first well-controlled rape prevention study to demonstrate clear improvements in treated high-risk males over control group subjects.

Key Words

rape prevention treatment outcome 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abel, G. G., Blanchard, E. B., and Becker, J. V. (1978). An integrated treatment program for rapists. In Rada, R. T. (ed.),Clinical Aspects of the Rapist, Grune & Stratton, New York.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (1987).Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mentals Disorders, 3rd ed., rev., American Psychiatric Association Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  3. Armentrout, J., and Hauer, A. (1978). MMPIs of rapists of adults, rapists of children, and nonrapist sex offenders.J. Clin. Psychol. 34: 330–332.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandura, A. (1977).Social Learning Theory, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  5. Baier, J., Rosenzweig, M., and Whipple, E. (1991). Patterns of sexual behavior, coercion, and victimization of university students.J. Coll. Student Dev. 32: 310–322.Google Scholar
  6. Berkowitz, A. (1992). College men as perpetrators of acquaintance rape and sexual assault: A review of recent research.J. Am. Coll. Health 40: 175–181.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Borden, L. A., Karr, S. K., and Caldwell-Colbert, A. (1988). Effects of a university rape prevention program on attitudes and empathy toward rape.J. Coll. Student Dev. 29: 132–136.Google Scholar
  8. Burt, M. (1980). Cultural myths and supports for rape.J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 38: 217–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crowne, D. P., and Marlowe, D. (1960). A new scale of social desirability independent of psychopathology.J. Consult. Psychol. 24: 349–354.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Denmare, D., Briere, J., and Lips, H. M. (1988). Violent pornography and self-reported like-lihood of sexual aggression.J. Res. Pers. 22: 140–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fultz, J., Schaller, M., and Cialdini, R. (1988). Empathy, sadness, and distress: Three related but distinct vicarious affective responses to another's suffering.Pers. Soc. Psychol. Bull. 14: 312–325.Google Scholar
  12. Gilbert, B., Heesacker, M., and Gannon, L. (1991). Changing the sexual aggression-supportive attitudes of men: A psychoeducational intervention.J. Counsel. Psychol. 38: 197–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Groth, A. N. (1979).Men Who Rape: The Psychology of the Offender, Plenum Press, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Harrison, P. J., Downes, J., and Williams, M. D. (1991). Date and acquaintance rape: Perceptions and attitude change strategies.J. Coll. Student Dev. 32: 131–139.Google Scholar
  15. Hildebran, D., and Pithers, W. (1989). Enhancing offender empathy for sexual-abuse victims. In Laws, D. (ed.), Relapse Prevention with Sex Offenders, Guiford Press, New York, pp. 236–243.Google Scholar
  16. Hollon, S. D., and Beck, A. T. (1986). Cognitive and cognitive behavioral therapies. In Garfield, S. L., and Bergin, A. E. (eds.),Handbook of Psychotherapy and Behavior Change, 3rd ed., Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  17. Horvath, P. (1988). Placebos and common factors in two decades of psychotherapy research.Psychol. Bull. 104: 214–225.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jacobson, N., and Traux, P. (1991). Clinical significance: A statistical approach to defining meaningful change in psychotherapy research.J. Consult. Clin. Psychol. 59: 12–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jenkins-Hall, K. D. (1989). The decision matrix. In Laws, D. R. (ed.),Relapse Prevention with Sex Offenders, Guilford, New York, pp. 159–166.Google Scholar
  20. Jones, J., and Muehlenhard, C. (1990, November). Using education to prevent rape on college campuses. Presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
  21. Kanin, E. J. (1957). Male aggression in dating-courtship relations.Am. J. Sociol. 63: 197–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kilpatrick, D. G., and Amick, A. E. (1985). Rape trauma. In Hersen, M., and Lat, C. G. (eds.),Behavior Therapy Casebook, Springer, New York, pp. 86–103.Google Scholar
  23. Koss, M. (1988). Hidden rape: Sexual aggression and victimization in a national sample of students in higher education. In Burgess, A. (ed.),Rape and Sexual Assault II, Garland, New York, pp. 3–25.Google Scholar
  24. Lee, L. (1987). Rape prevention: Experimental training for men.J. Counsel. Dev. 66: 100–101.Google Scholar
  25. Lipton, D. N., McDonel, E. C., and McFall, R. M. (1987). Heterosocial perception in rapists.J. Consult. Clin Psychol. 55: 17–21.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Malamuth, N. M. (1986). Predictors of naturalistic sexual aggression.J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 50: 953–962.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Malamuth, N. M. (1989). The attraction to sexual aggression scale: Part 1.J. Sex Res. 26: 26–49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Marshall, W. L., Jones, R., Ward, T., Johnston, P. and Barbaree, H. E. (1991). Treatment outcome with sex offenders.Clin. Psychol. Rev. 11: 465–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McFall, R. (1988). The enhancement of social skills: An information-processing analysis. In Marshall, W., Laws, D. R., and Barbaree, H. E. (eds.),Handbook of Sexual Assault, Plenum Press, New York, pp. 311–330.Google Scholar
  30. Muehlenhard, C. L., and Linton, M. A. (1987). Date rape and sexual aggression in dating situations: Incidence and risk factors.J. Counsel. Psychol. 34: 186–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. O'Donohue, W. T., McKay, J. S., and Schewe, P. A. (1995). Outcome expectancies of rape: The role of hypermasculinity and past sexual experience. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  32. Parrot, A. (1990). Do rape education programs influence rape patterns along New York State college students? Presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sex, Minneapolis, MN.Google Scholar
  33. Pirog-Good, M. A., and Stets, J. E. (1989). The help-seeking behavior of physically and sexually abused college students. In Pirog-Good, M., and Stets, J. (eds.),Violence in Dating Relationships, Fraeger, New York, pp. 108–125.Google Scholar
  34. Pithers, W. D., Kashima, K., Cumming, G. F., Beal, L. S., and Buell, M. (1988). Relapse prevention of sexual aggression. In Prentky, R., and Quinsey, V. (eds.),Human Sexual Aggression: Current Perspectives, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, pp. 244–260.Google Scholar
  35. Reynolds, W. M. (1982). Development of reliable and valid short forms of the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale.J. Clin. Psychol. 38: 119–124.Google Scholar
  36. Schewe, P. A., and O'Donohue, W. T. (1993a). Rape prevention: Methodological problems and new directions.Clin. Psychol. Rev. 13: 667–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schewe, P. A., and O'Donohue, W. T. (1993b). Rape prevention with males: The role of victim empathy.Viol. Vict. 8: 339–351.Google Scholar
  38. Schewe, P. A., and O'Donohue, W. T. (1995). Reversing the effects of socially desirable responding via Asch's conformity paradigm: Implications for research. Manuscript submitted for publication.Google Scholar
  39. Stanko, E. (1985).Intimate intrusions: Women's experience of male violence, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, U.K.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul A. Schewe
    • 1
  • William O'Donohue
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology (MC 285)University of Illinois at ChicagoChicago
  2. 2.University of NevadaReno

Personalised recommendations