Sex Roles

, Volume 60, Issue 11–12, pp 779–792 | Cite as

A Situational Model of Sexual Assault Prevention through Bystander Intervention

Original Article

Abstract

Bystander intervention is a potentially potent tool in the primary prevention of sexual assault but more information is needed to guide prevention programs (Banyard 2008). Undergraduates (378 women and 210 men, primarily White) at a central coast California university completed an anonymous questionnaire measuring five barriers identified by the situational model of bystander intervention (Latane and Darley 1970) and bystander intervention behavior. As expected, the barriers were negatively correlated with intervention, were greater for men than for women, and intervention likelihood was affected by perceptions of victim worthiness, especially for men. Hypotheses predicting a positive relationship between having a relationship with the potential victim or perpetrator and intervention were supported. Implications for sexual assault bystander intervention programming are provided.

Keywords

Sexual assault Prevention Bystander intervention 

References

  1. Abbey, A., Ross, L. T., McDuffie, D., & McAuslan, P. (1996). Alcohol and dating risk factors for sexual assault among college women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 147–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, L. A., & Whiston, S. C. (2005). Sexual assault education programs: a meta-analytic examination of their effectiveness. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29, 374–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aosved, A. C., & Long, P. J. (2006). Co-occurrence of rape myth acceptance, sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, and religious intolerance. Sex Roles, 55, 481–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bachar, K. J., & Koss, M. P. (2001). From prevalence to prevention: Closing the gap between what we know about rape and what we do. In C. M. Renzetti, R. K. Bergen, & J. L. Edelson (Eds.), Sourcebook on violence against women (pp. 117–142). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  5. Banyard, V. (2008). Measurement and correlates of prosocial bystander behavior: the case of interpersonal violence. Violence and Victims, 23, 83–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Banyard, V. L., Plante, E. G., & Moynihan, M. M. (2004). Bystander education: bringing a broader community perspective to sexual violence prevention. Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 61–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Banyard, V. L., Moynihan, M. M., & Plante, E. G. (2007). Sexual violence prevention through bystander education: an experimental evaluation. Journal of Community Psychology, 35, 463–481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Batson, D. C., Eklund, J. K., Chermok, V. L., Hoyt, J. L., & Ortiz, B. G. (2007). An additional antecedent of empathic concern: valuing the welfare of the person in need. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 93, 65–74.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkowitz, A. D. (2002). Fostering men’s responsibility for preventing sexual assault. In P. A. Schewe (Ed.), Preventing violence in relationships: Intervention across the lifespan (pp. 163–196). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berkowitz, A. D. (2004). An overview of the social norms approach. In L. Lederman, L. Stewart, F. Goodhart, & L. Laitman (Eds.), Changing the culture of college drinking: A socially situated prevention campaign (pp. 187–208). Creskill, NJ: Hampton Press.Google Scholar
  11. Brecklin, L. R., & Ullman, S. E. (2005). Self-defense or assertiveness training and women’s responses to sexual attacks. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20, 738–762.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Breitenbecher, K. H. (2000). Sexual assault on college campuses: is an ounce of prevention enough? Applied and Preventative Psychology, 9, 23–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Burt, M. R. (1980). Cultural myths and supports of rape. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 38, 217–230.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Carlson, M. (2008). I’d rather go along and be considered a man: masculinity and bystander intervention. Journal of Men’s Studies, 16, 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carr, J. L., & VanDeusen, K. M. (2004). Risk factors for male sexual aggression on college campuses. Journal of Family Violence, 19, 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cassidy, L., & Hurrell, R. (1995). The influence of victim’s attire on adolescents’ judgments of date rape. Adolescence, 30, 319–323.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Castello, J., Coomer, C., Stillwell, J., & Cate, K. L. (2006). The attribution of responsibility in acquaintance rape involving ecstasy. North American Journal of Psychology, 8, 411–420.Google Scholar
  18. Ching, C. L., & Burke, S. (1999). An assessment of college students’ attitudes and empathy toward rape. College Student Journal, 3, 573–583.Google Scholar
  19. Cialdini, R. B., Brown, S. L., Lewis, B. P., Luce, C., & Neuberg, S. L. (1997). Reinterpreting the empathy-altruism relationship: when one into one equals oneness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 481–494.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Cramer, R. E., McMaster, M. R., Bartell, P. A., & Dragna, M. (1988). Subject competence and the minimization of the bystander effect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 1133–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Deitz, S. R., Tiemann Blackwell, K., Daley, P. C., & Bentley, B. J. (1982). Measurement of empathy toward rape victims and rapists. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 372–384.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Eagly, A. H. (1987). Sex differences in social behavior: A social role interpretation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  23. Eagly, A. H., & Crowley, M. (1986). Gender and helping behavior: a meta-analytic review of the social-psychological literature. Psychological Bulletin, 100, 283–308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fabiano, P. M., Perkins, W., Berkowitz, A., Linkenbach, J., & Stark, C. (2003). Engaging men as social justice allies in ending violence against women: a social norms approach. Journal of American College Health, 52, 105–112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Fisher, B., Cullen, F., & Turner, M. (2000). The sexual victimization of college women. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics.Google Scholar
  26. Fischer, P., Greitmeyer, T., Pollozek, F., & Frey, D. (2005). The unresponsive bystander: are bystanders more responsive in dangerous emergencies. European Journal of Social Psychology, 36, 267–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fogle, J. (2000). Acquaintance rape and the attribution of responsibility: the role of alcohol and individual differences. Undergraduate Research Journal of Indiana University SouthBend, 3.Google Scholar
  28. Foubert, J. D. (2000). The longitudinal effects of a rape-prevention program on fraternity men’s attitudes, behavioral intent, and behavior. Journal of American College Health, 48, 158–163.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Gerber, G. L., Cronin, J. M., & Steigman, H. (2004). Attributions of blame in sexual assault to perpetrators and victims of both genders. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2149–2165.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Gottleib, J., & Carver, C. S. (1980). Anticipation of future interaction and the bystander effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 16, 253–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Grant, J. M., Folger, W. A., & Hornak, J. N. (1995). College students’ perception of victim responsibility in an acquaintance rape situation. College Student Journal, 29, 532–535.Google Scholar
  32. Hall, J. A. (1984). Nonverbal sex differences: Communication accuracy and expressive style. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Harari, H., Harari, O., & White, R. V. (2001). The reaction to rape by American male bystanders. Journal of Social Psychology, 125, 653–658.Google Scholar
  34. Harrison, L. A., Howerton, P. M., Secarea, A. M., & Nguyen, C. Q. (2008). Effects of ingroup bias and gender role violations on acquaintance rape attributions. Sex Roles, 59, 713–725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Howard, W., & Crano, W. D. (1974). Effects of sex, conversation, location, and size of observer group on bystander intervention in a high risk situation. Sociometry, 37, 491–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Jimenez, J. A., & Abreu, J. M. (2003). Race and sex effects on attitudinal perceptions of acquaintance rape. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 50, 252–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Katz, J. (1995). Reconstructing masculinity in the locker room: mentors in violence prevention. Harvard Educational Review, 65, 163–174.Google Scholar
  38. Lambdin, C. L. (2005). Acquaintance rape empathy: effects of subject gender, victim gender, and the use of physical resistance. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 66(3-B), 1784.Google Scholar
  39. Latane, B., & Darley, J. M. (1968). Group inhibition of bystander intervention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10, 215–221.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Latane, B., & Darley, J. M. (1970). The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  41. Latane, B., & Nida, S. (1981). Ten years of research on group size and helping. Psychological Bulletin, 89, 308–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Levine, M., Cassidy, C., Brazier, G., & Reicher, S. (2002). Self-categorization and bystander non-intervention. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 32, 1452–1463.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lisak, D., & Miller, P. M. (2002). Repeat rape and multiple offending among undetected rapists. Violence and Victims, 17, 73–84.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Loewenstein, G., & Small, D. A. (2007). The scarecrow and the tin man: the vicissitudes of human sympathy and caring. Review of General Psychology, 11, 112–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1994). Rape myths: in review. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18, 133–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Norris, J., & Cubbins, L. A. (1992). Effects of victims’ and assailants’ alcohol consumption on judgments of their behavior and traits. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 16, 179–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. O’Brien, J. (2001). The MVP program: focus on student athletes. In A. J. Ottens, & K. Hotteling (Eds.), Sexual violence on campus (pp. 141–161). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  48. Potter, S. J., Stapleton, J. G., & Moynihan, M. M. (2008). Designing, implementing, and evaluating a media campaign illustrating the bystander role. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 36, 39–55.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rozee, P. D., & Koss, M. P. (2001). Rape: a century of resistance. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 25, 295–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rutkowski, G. K., Gruder, C. L., & Romer, D. (1983). Group cohesiveness, social norms, and bystander intervention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 545–552.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sampson, R. (2003). Acquaintance rape of college students. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.Google Scholar
  52. Schewe, P. A. (2002). Guidelines for developing rape prevention and risk reduction interventions. In P. A. Schewe (Ed.), Preventing violence in relationships: Intervention across the lifespan (pp. 107–133). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Schult, D. G., & Schneider, L. J. (1991). The role of sexual provocativeness, rape history, and observer gender in perceptions of blame in sexual assault. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 6, 94–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Schwartz, S. H., & Gottleib, A. (1980). Bystander anonymity and reaction to emergencies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 418–430.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Shechory, M., & Idisis, Y. (2006). Rape myths and social distance toward sex offenders and victims among therapists and students. Sex Roles, 54, 651–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Shotland, R. L., & Heinhold, W. D. (1985). Bystander response to arterial bleeding: helping skills, the decision-making process, and differentiating the helping response. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 347–356.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Shotland, R. L., & Straw, M. K. (1976). Bystander response to an assault: when a man attacks a woman. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34, 990–999.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Smith, C. A., & Frieze, I. H. (2003). Examining rape empathy from the perspective of the victim and the assailant. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 476–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sochting, I., Fairbrother, N., & Koch, W. J. (2004). Sexual assault of women: prevention efforts and risk factors. Violence Against Women, 10, 73–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Full report of the prevalence, incidence, and consequences of violence against women: Findings from the national violence against women survey. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.Google Scholar
  61. Ullman, S. E. (2003). A critical review of field studies on the link of alcohol and adult sexual assault in women. Aggression and Violent Behavior: A Review Journal, 8, 471–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Ullman, S. E. (2007). A 10-year update of ‘review and critique of empirical studies of rape avoidance. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34, 411–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Whatley, M. A. (2005). The effect of participant sex, victim dress, and traditional attitudes on causal judgments for marital rape and victims. Journal of Family Violence, 20, 191–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Workman, J. E., & Freeburn, E. W. (1999). An examination of date rape, victim dress, and perceiver variables within the context of attribution theory. Sex Roles, 41, 261–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Child DevelopmentCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

Personalised recommendations