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Fraternity Membership, the Display of Degrading Sexual Images of Women, and Rape Myth Acceptance

Abstract

The present study was conducted to learn more about the association between fraternity membership and attitudes and behaviors associated with sexual aggression against women. A male experimenter took digital pictures of all of the images of women displayed in the rooms of 30 fraternity men and 30 non-fraternity men on a residential, small, liberal arts college campus. The men also filled out a rape myth acceptance scale. A total of 91 images were found in the form of posters, “pin-ups,” advertisements, or computer screen savers. It was found that fraternity men had significantly more images of women displayed in their rooms and that the images were rated significantly more degrading than those in the rooms of non-fraternity men. Fraternity men were found to have significantly higher scores on a rape supportive attitude scale (RSA). RSA scores were positively related to the amount of degradation in the images found in men's rooms. The possible purposes and consequences of the display of degrading sexual images are discussed.

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Correspondence to Sarah K. Murnen.

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Bleecker, E.T., Murnen, S.K. Fraternity Membership, the Display of Degrading Sexual Images of Women, and Rape Myth Acceptance. Sex Roles 53, 487–493 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-7136-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-005-7136-6

Keywords

  • fraternities
  • sexual
  • degrading