Co-occurrence of Rape Myth Acceptance, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Ageism, Classism, and Religious Intolerance

Abstract

Rape myth acceptance has been extensively studied. Little research is available, however, on the relationship of this variable to other oppressive belief systems. A sample of 492 male and 506 female college students completed the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (short form), the Neosexism Scale, the Modern and Old Fashioned Racism Scale, the Modern Homophobia Scale, a modified version of the Economic Belief Scale, the Fraboni Scale of Ageism, and the Marlowe–Crowne Social Desirability Scale (short form). Because there were no existing measures of intolerance toward multiple religions, the Religious Intolerance Scale was developed for this study (using relevant items from the Godfrey Richman Isms Scale). Findings here suggested that greater racism (both modern and old fashioned), sexism (both modern and old fashioned), homophobia (toward both gay men and lesbians), ageism, classism, and religious intolerance were each associated with greater rape myth acceptance. Moreover, each belief system collectively added to the prediction of rape myth acceptance, although sexism has the highest overlap with rape myth acceptance. Although gender did not moderate the relationship between oppressive belief systems and rape myth acceptance, results, across analyses, did indicate that men reported greater rape myth acceptance than women did. Results point to the interrelatedness of rape myth acceptance, racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ageism, and religious intolerance.

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Correspondence to Allison C. Aosved or Patricia J. Long.

Appendices

Appendix A

Modified Economic Beliefs Scale.

Items
People who stay on welfare have no desire to worka
Welfare keeps the nation in debta
People who don’t make much money are generally unmotivateda
Equal educational opportunities exist for all people in our societya
Homeless people should get their acts together and become productive members of societya
Too many of my tax dollars are spent to take care of those who are unwilling to take care of themselvesa
If every individual would carry his/her own weight, there would be no povertya
There are more poor people than wealthy people in prisons because poor people commit more crimesa
Poor people are lazy
Most poor people should not have children until they can afford to take care of them
Most poor people aren’t very smart
If given the chance, a poor person would be able to keep a job
Most poor people are in debt because they can’t manage their money
People who live in poverty could benefit from educational opportunities
People living in poverty would rather commit crimes for financial gain than work for a living
  1. aItem used originally by Stevenson & Medler (1995).

Appendix B

Religious Intolerance Scale.

Items
Christians are intolerant of people with other religious beliefsa
Catholics have a “holier than thou” attitudea
Jewish people are deceitful and money hungrya
Athiests and agnostics are more self-centered than people from other religious groupsa
Muslims are more treacherous than other groups of religious peoplea
Wiccan and pagan people practice thinly veiled evil
Many of the social problems in the US today are due to non-Christian religious groups
The Hindu beliefs about reincarnation results in people not taking responsibility for their actions in this life since there is always the next life
Despite what Buddhist people may say, Buddhism isn’t really a religion, but more of a philosophy
  1. aItem used originally by Godfrey et al. (2000).

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Aosved, A.C., Long, P.J. Co-occurrence of Rape Myth Acceptance, Sexism, Racism, Homophobia, Ageism, Classism, and Religious Intolerance. Sex Roles 55, 481–492 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9101-4

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Keywords

  • Rape myth
  • Intolerance
  • Sexism
  • Racism
  • Homophobia