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Abstract

First-year men at a midsized public university either saw a rape prevention program or were in a control group and were asked to complete attitude and behavior surveys at the beginning and end of an academic year. Participants were also asked whether they joined fraternities during that year. With 90% of first-year men participating throughout the duration of the study, results showed that men who joined fraternities during the year and had seen a rape prevention program at the beginning of the acade-mic year were significantly less likely to commit a sexual-ly coercive act during the year than control group men who joined fraternities. Long-term attitude change was also associated with program participation. Results are discussed regarding effective program strategies for edu-cating fraternity men about rape on college campuses. Despite much educational programming on college campuses focused on rape prevention and risk reduction (Anderson & Whitson, 2005; Katz, 2006), one in four college women have consistently reported surviving rape or attempted rape on numerous multicampus studies sampling thousands of college students for several decades (Fisher, Cullen, & Turner, 2000; Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss, & Wechsler, 2004; Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987). Up to 5% of college women survive rape or attempted rape every year (Mohler-Kuo et al., 2004). Perpetrators of rape are almost always (98%) men (Sedgwick, 2006); in addition, 9% of college men admit to acts that meet the legal definition of either rape or attempted rape (Ouimett & Riggs, 1998). Early programmatic attempts to address this problem focused on encouraging women to change their behavior by not going out alone at night, curbing alcohol use, and taking self-defense classes. Although these recommendations have value, they showed few, if any, signs of addressing the root of the problem—the behavior of men who chose to rape (Katz, 2006).
NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
Behavior Differences
Seven Months Later: Effects of
a Rape Prevention Program
John D. Foubert
Johnathan T. Newberry
Jerry L. Tatum
v
First-year men at a midsized public university either saw
a rape prevention program or were in a control group and
were asked to complete attitude and behavior surveys at
the beginning and end of an academic year. Participants
were also asked whether they joined fraternities during
that year. With 90% of first-year men participating
throughout the duration of the study, results showed that
men who joined fraternities during the year and had seen
a rape prevention program at the beginning of the acade-
mic year were significantly less likely to commit a sexual-
ly coercive act during the year than control group men
who joined fraternities. Long-term attitude change was
also associated with program participation. Results are
discussed regarding effective program strategies for edu-
cating fraternity men about rape on college campuses.
728
John D. Foubert, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the School of Education at The
College of William and Mary. Johnathan T. Newberry and Jerry L. Tatum are also
affiliated with The College of William and Mary.
The authors gratefully acknowledge support from a U.S. Department of Education
Grant from the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, whose funding made this
research possible.
NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
Despite much educational programming on college campuses focused
on rape prevention and risk reduction (Anderson & Whitson, 2005;
Katz, 2006), one in four college women have consistently reported
surviving rape or attempted rape on numerous multicampus studies
sampling thousands of college students for several decades (Fisher,
Cullen, & Turner, 2000; Mohler-Kuo, Dowdall, Koss, & Wechsler,
2004; Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987). Up to 5% of college
women survive rape or attempted rape every year (Mohler-Kuo et al.,
2004). Perpetrators of rape are almost always (98%) men (Sedgwick,
2006); in addition, 9% of college men admit to acts that meet the legal
definition of either rape or attempted rape (Ouimett & Riggs, 1998).
Early programmatic attempts to address this problem focused on
encouraging women to change their behavior by not going out alone
at night, curbing alcohol use, and taking self-defense classes. Although
these recommendations have value, they showed few, if any, signs of
addressing the root of the problem—the behavior of men who chose
to rape (Katz, 2006).
Particularly during the last decade, an increasing number of programs
have focused on educating men about rape, with a wide variety of con-
sequences on posttest evaluations from showing a greater likelihood of
committing rape (Berg, Lonsway, & Fitzgerald, 1999); to changes in
attitudes toward less stereotyped beliefs about rape, rape victims, and
rapists (Choate, 2003); to lower self-reported likelihood of raping
(Foubert, 2000). Early efforts were largely ineffective, with few pro-
ducing any signs of lasting change among male participants (Lonsway,
1996). In the last decade, several promising efforts have begun to
establish a foothold in the rape prevention arena, with increasingly
more powerful results (Choate, 2003; Foubert & Newberry, 2006;
O’Donohue, Yeater, & Fanetti, 2003).
Some of the more successful efforts have used male college students to
encourage their peers to change their perspectives on rape and to take
greater responsibility for confronting their peers (Brecklin & Forde,
2001; Foubert, 2005; Katz, 2006). A few studies have shown initial
signs of changes in behavior related to rape, such as being willing to
help out or to advocate for funding for rape prevention (Heppner,
Humphrey, Hillenbrand-Gunn, & Debord, 1995). Other research has
found that after participating in a rape prevention program, men pre-
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
dict that they will be less likely to be sexually coercive or that they
would intervene to help prevent an alcohol-related rape from occur-
ring (Foubert, Tatum, & Donohue, 2006). Qualitative research has
shown signs of changed behavior through comments from men who
indicate that several months after participating in a rape prevention
program they have avoided telling a rape joke or have confronted oth-
ers when one is told (Foubert & Perry, 2007).
Among men on college campuses, fraternity men are more likely to
commit rape than other college men (Bleeker & Murnen, 2005;
Boeringer, 1999). Thus, rape prevention efforts often target fraternity
men (Choate, 2003; Larimer, Lydum, Anderson, & Turner; 1999;
Foubert & Newberry, 2006). Compared to their peers on college cam-
puses, fraternity men are more likely to believe that women enjoy
being physically “roughed up,” that women pretend not to want sex
but want to be forced into sex, that men should be controllers of rela-
tionships, that sexually liberated women are promiscuous and will
probably have sex with anyone, and that women secretly desire to be
raped (Boeringer, 1999). Beyond the aforementioned quantitative
findings, qualitative research suggests that fraternity culture includes
group norms that reinforce within-group attitudes perpetuating sexu-
al coercion against women. These cultural norms have the potential to
exert powerful influences on men’s behavior (Boswell & Spade; 1996).
As many student affairs administrators can explain anecdotally, most
rape committed by college students involves alcohol. Specifically, in
72–81% of cases in which a male rapes a female college student, the
female is intoxicated (Lisak & Miller, 2002; Mohler-Kuo et al., 2004).
Frequent, heavy episodic drinking increases college women’s chances
of experiencing rape by eightfold (Mohler-Kuo et al., 2004). Among
male offenders who rape women, 64% were using alcohol and/or
drugs prior to the attack (Brecklin & Ullman, 2002). In addition, men
who are more sexually coercive also drink higher amounts of alcohol
than noncoercive men, particularly during sexual encounters (Abbey,
Clinton-Sherrod, McAuslan, Zawacki, & Buck, 2003; Abbey,
McAuslan, Zawacki, Clinton, & Buck, 2001; Carr & VanDeusen,
2004).
Furthermore, the more alcohol that men consume, the more aggres-
sive they are in situations in which a sexual assault takes place. The
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
link between alcohol and sexual assault is further compounded by
findings that when men are intoxicated, they perceive rape survivors
as being less distressed and less disgusted by their attackers than do
sober men (Norris, George, Davis, Martel, & Leonesio, 1999).
Interestingly, the more sexually coercive a man is the less honest he
believes women are about not wanting to have sex on a particular
occasion (Bernat Calhoun & Stolp, 1998). This is especially evident
when alcohol has been consumed by both parties. Finally, studies
examining sexually aggressive men have shown that they are less
inhibited about being coercive with women who have consumed alco-
hol. Although the amount of alcohol a woman consumes has no effect
on nonaggressive men’s perceptions of how far to push their sexual
advances, sexually aggressive men are much more likely to be coercive
when a woman has consumed alcohol (Bernat et al., 1998).
Clearly, the problem of rape, fraternity men, and alcohol is a vexing
dilemma on today’s college campus. At present, no program evalua-
tion study has shown a change in men’s perpetration of sexually coer-
cive behavior using an experimental design (Anderson & Whitson,
2005); in fact, only one rape prevention program has been shown to
have a clear, long-lasting effect on men’s attitudes (Schewe, 2002). A
revision of this long-lasting program, The Men’s Program (Foubert,
2005), is the intervention evaluated in the present study.
The theoretical framework used for the present study was belief sys-
tem theory. The core concept of belief system theory is that in order to
produce lasting attitude and behavior change, programmatic interven-
tions must be designed to maintain people’s existing self-conceptions
(Grube, Mayton, & Ball-Rokeach, 1994). Many interventions begin
with the implicit or explicit assumption that their male program par-
ticipants are potential rapists (Berkowitz, 1994; Davis, 2000); thus,
according to belief system theory, the probability of success of such
programs is low. Research has shown that men, regardless of whether
they have committed sexual assault, do not perceive themselves to be
potential rapists (Scheel, Johnson, Schneider, & Smith, 2001). The
program evaluated in the present study attempts to influence men by
appealing to beliefs they have about being potential helpers (Scheel et
al., 2001). Presenters of The Men’s Program approach men as poten-
tial helpers of survivors who can learn to respond more effectively to
women who might seek their assistance after surviving rape.
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
Appealing to this persona has shown success in earlier evaluation
studies (Foubert, 2000; Foubert & Cowell, 2004).
The programmatic method in this study used the tone men suggested
by Scheel et al. (2001) by framing the experience as a workshop on
how to help a sexual assault survivor recover from her traumatic expe-
rience. The program has been grounded in belief system theory
(Grube, Mayton, & Ball-Rokeach, 1994) and has been based in the lit-
erature on effective rape prevention programming methods (Brecklin
& Forde, 2001). The findings of a meta-analysis showed that pro-
grams presented to all-male audiences are much more likely to change
men’s attitudes and behavioral intent to rape than those presented to
coeducational audiences (Brecklin & Forde, 2001). In addition,
research has shown that as men increase their empathy with survivors,
understand rape trauma, and have more aversion to rape, they report
less likelihood of raping (Schewe, 2002). According to Schewe’s
review, ten studies have been published that assess the effects of an
empathy-based intervention on men’s attitudes toward rape and/or
their behavioral intent to rape. All of the studies depicting a man as a
survivor significantly improved men’s attitudes toward rape and/or
lowered their behavioral intent to rape. In stark contrast, all of the
studies evaluating the impact of a program whose primary interven-
tion method was to depict a female survivor increased men’s rape myth
acceptance; one such program even increased men’s reported likeli-
hood of sexual aggression. Therefore, presenters of The Men’s Program
show a video (One in Four, 2000) describing a male-on-male rape
experience designed to teach men how a rape experience might feel.
Afterward, presenters note that the described perpetrators were pre-
sumably heterosexual and known to the survivor, as with many male-
on-male rapes (Lisak, Hopper, & Song, 1996). This point is made
clear to the audience in an effort to meet one of the program’s goals:
to confront any preexisting homophobic assumptions held by audi-
ence members that male-on-male rapes are commonly perpetrated by
gay men. Instead, presenters of The Men’s Program note that they are
describing the more common occurrence of heterosexual perpetrators
who use rape and battery to exert power and control over another
male.
Next, presenters make connections between a male-on-male and a
male-on-female rape experience to facilitate audience members’ empa-
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thy toward rape survivors. Later, men are taught how to support a
rape survivor. Men next learn the basics of defining sexual consent
and hear strategies for confronting peers as bystanders when they
overhear others tell jokes about rape, act in ways that demean women,
or brag about abusing women. Following that, men are taken through
a guided imagery of a woman close to them who is raped under the
influence of alcohol while a bystander watches and does nothing. Men
then brainstorm ways that they could intervene in situations where an
alcohol-related rape might occur. The program itself lasts about 1 hour
and is usually presented by four undergraduate male peer educators,
often part of peer education groups named One in Four (see
www.oneinfourusa.org). Given the potential for a strong emotional
impact on audience members, particularly survivors of sexual assault,
several disclaimers are given to participants and appropriate resources
are offered.
Over time, The Men’s Program has been modified in accordance with
feedback obtained through quantitative and qualitative evaluation
studies of mostly, but not exclusively, fraternity men (Foubert, 2000;
Foubert & Cowell, 2004; Foubert & Newberry, 2006; Foubert &
Perry, 2007). For example, a focus group study with a follow-up sur-
vey of fraternity men and student athletes has shown evidence of last-
ing attitude and behavior change (Foubert & Cowell, 2004; Foubert
& Perry, 2007). Participants who gave feedback in these focus groups
and on a follow-up survey of open-ended questions attributed their
changed attitudes and changed bystander behavior to their program
participation. Fully 100% of focus group participants reported either
lasting attitude or behavior change 5 months after participating in The
Men’s Program. Most reported both attitude and behavior change.
Research on fraternity culture suggests a strong aversion among men
in fraternities to verbalize a request for sexual consent, particularly
with a partner who is under the influence of alcohol. This result in
particular suggests the need for targeting programming with this pop-
ulation and on this issue (Foubert, Garner & Thaxter, 2006). Using
this feedback, and feedback gained from earlier focus group studies
(Foubert & Cowell, 2004), a program module covering alcohol and
bystander intervention was added to The Men’s Program. When test-
ed on fraternity men, results showed significant pre/post declines in
rape myth acceptance, likelihood of raping, likelihood of committing
sexual assault, and significant increases in empathy toward rape sur-
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vivors (Foubert & Newberry, 2006). The present study sought to
extend these findings to a larger population with a longitudinal
design.
In addition to extending prior findings, other important research
questions emerging from the literature were addressed by the present
study. For example, are men in fraternities more likely to commit sex-
ual assault because of some preexisting characteristic? Is there some-
thing about fraternity culture that makes a man more likely commit
sexual assault once he is socialized into fraternity culture? Thus far,
research has not been conducted assessing the attitudes and behavior
related to sexual assault among men who join fraternities prior to their
joining a fraternity. This gap in the literature makes it challenging to
determine whether fraternity culture affects college men or whether
certain college men have preexisting characteristics that lead to
increased sexually coercive behavior. Of course, it could be a combi-
nation of the two. Another hole in the literature exists with the
absence of a study measuring the sexually coercive behavior of men
who join fraternities during their freshman year compared to those
who do not join fraternities. The present study addresses both gaps in
the research literature.
The researchers focused their inquiry on the following research
questions.
1. Do first-year men who join fraternities during their first year of
college begin the year with different attitudes toward rape and/or
different precollege acts of sexual assault when compared to men
who do not join fraternities?
2. How do the attitudes toward rape and the rate of sexual assault
perpetration by first-year men who join fraternities compare to
those of first-year men who do not join fraternities at the end of
their first year?
3. Does participating in The Men’s Program at the beginning of the
academic year impact first-year men’s attitudes toward rape for
men who join a fraternity?
4. Does participating in The Men’s Program at the beginning of the
academic year impact first-year men’s acts of sexual assault com-
mitted during their first year in college for men who join a
fraternity?
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Based on research showing that fraternity men have a higher likeli-
hood of committing sexual assault than other college men, hypothesis
one was that men who joined a fraternity would be more likely to
commit sexual assault during their first year of college than men who
did not join a fraternity. Based on research on the efficacy of The Men’s
Program in helping to change men’s attitudes and behavioral intent to
rape, and the work done with fraternity men to revise the program to
be more salient to their culture, hypothesis two was that men who
joined fraternities and who saw The Men’s Program would commit
fewer acts of sexual assault during their first year of college than fra-
ternity men who did not see The Men’s Program.
Based on prior research on The Men’s Program (Foubert; 2000;
Foubert & Newberry, 2006), the third hypothesis was unidirectional,
predicting that men who joined fraternities and began the year by par-
ticipating in The Men’s Program would report significant declines in
rape myth acceptance immediately after and 7 months after program
participation. The researchers further hypothesized this effect to be
lower than a control group at the post and follow-up posttest.
Methodology
Participants
Participants for this study were traditional age undergraduate male
students enrolled at a small to midsized public, southeastern univer-
sity. First-year men at this institution either saw The Men’s Program as
part of their extended orientation programming during the first month
of the school year or were in a control group that saw a program
designed not to elicit attitude or behavior change on the variables
measured. The campus holds fraternity recruitment in the fall, so men
who joined fraternities did so shortly after participating in The Men’s
Program. A total of 565 first-year men completed useable surveys in
the fall and spring administration of this study, constituting 90% of
first-year men at the institution. All were full-time students who lived
on campus.
Materials
Participant’s attitudes toward sexual assault were measured using the
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short form of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (Payne,
Lonsway, & Fitzgerald, 1999). Payne et al. (1999) developed this
scale through six studies including a factor analysis for construct def-
inition and item pool selection, a complete-link cluster analysis to
determine the structure and dimensions of the scale, item pool selec-
tion based on fit to a hierarchical model, and a construct validity study
correlating the IRMA to seven similar measures (r = between .50 and
.74, p < .001). They also conducted a study where groups known to
differ in rape myth acceptance scored differently as predicted on the
IRMA (p < .001) and a validity study correlating IRMA scores with a
content analysis of open-ended scenarios written by participants that
were analyzed for rape myth content (r = .32, p < .05).
The Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) (Koss & Gidycz, 1985) is a 10
item survey that asks respondents to indicate whether they have per-
petrated behaviors ranging from engaging in fondling, kissing, or pet-
ting through excessive psychological pressure on a woman to more
extreme behavior such as unwanted sexual intercourse. Participants
respond to each question by answering yes or no. An individual’s score
on the instrument is the number of the highest question (closest to 10)
to which he answered yes. If participants answer yes to questions 8, 9,
or 10, rape is indicated; 6 or 7 indicates sexual coercion; 4 or 5 indi-
cates attempted rape; and 1, 2, or 3 indicates unwanted sexual con-
tact. Scores on each item are not added together. Rather the partici-
pant’s score is the number of the highest (closest to 10) question to
which he responded yes. Participants also indicate the number of
times they have committed each act, to allow for further analyses if
necessary.
Koss and Gidycz (1985) reported that the SES was designed for nor-
mal populations and was used in a study of 10,000 college students
nationwide. When measuring the internal consistency of the SES
among 448 introductory psychology students (305 women, 143
men), a Cronbach’s alpha of .74 was found for women and .89 for
men. Test-retest reliability was assessed among 71 females and 67
males who took it a week apart; agreement emerged on 93% of the
items.
In a validity study of the SES, Koss and Gidycz (1985) administered
the SES to a group of 386 students who were also interviewed by a
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
psychologist assessing the same behaviors. Of these students, 242
were women and 144 were men. For women, SES and behaviors they
reported in an interview correlated .73. Correlation for men between
written SES scores and responses from an SES personal interview was
.61. Koss and Gidycz (1985) reported that men tended to deny behav-
iors to a psychologist that they had admitted on paper. This inconsis-
tency in reports did not occur in the test-retest survey situation. Thus,
Koss and Gidycz (1985) suggested that the survey format has stronger
validity than individual interviews.
Koss et al. (1987) found that 93% of male participants in their validi-
ty study of the SES reported the same information on the survey as in
the interview. When participants differed in their reports, they admit-
ted behavior on the questionnaire that they would not admit to an
experimenter in person. When participants rated their honesty in
completing the measure, on average they indicated 95% honesty.
Procedure
The University where the study took place required all first-year men
to participate in either this or another program as part of new student
orientation. For those who attended this program, trained graduate
students explained that a study was being done of the program’s effects
and they were under no obligation to participate in the study itself,
only to see the program. In return for survey completion throughout
the study, participants were rewarded with a $10 gift card to a nearby
convenience store.
Using a Solomon four square design (Borg & Gall, 1989), participants
were randomly assigned to four groups varying pretesting or no
pretesting and participation in The Men’s Program or a control condi-
tion. A trained graduate student distributed a pretest to one half of the
participants and posttest surveys to all participants immediately after
program participation in accordance with the Solomon four design.
Seven months after program or control group participation, graduate
student experimenters returned to first-year residences to distribute
follow-up posttest surveys to all study participants. Experimenters
returned to residences daily for a month until they reached a 90%
return rate of the total population eligible for the study. A standard
protocol of consent form distribution and reading of directions was
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
followed for each group. Pretest and posttest measures took approxi-
mately 10 minutes each to complete. Participants completed a pretest
survey that included the short form of the Illinois Rape Myth
Acceptance Scale the SES and a demographic questionnaire. Measures
were counterbalanced to control for order effects.
Experimental group participants saw a presentation of The Men’s
Program (Foubert, 2005) by four experienced peer educators, each of
whom had at least 20 hours of peer education training. Presenters
began by setting a nonconfrontational tone, where participants heard
that they would not be blamed for rape, nor would it be assumed that
they wanted to rape a woman. Participants were told, instead, they
would learn how they can assist women who come to them for help
after being sexually assaulted. This approach was taken to be consistent
with belief system theory. After disclaimers, an overview, and a basic
review of rape definitions, presenters told the audience that they would
view a videotape that described a rape situation. This tape described a
male police officer being raped by two men who were depicted as vio-
lent, known previously to the officer, and heterosexual.
At the conclusion of the video, presenters noted that as with most
male-on-male rape, the video they just watched depicted two pre-
sumably heterosexual men using rape and battery to exert power and
control over the survivor. This portion was important because it con-
fronted the homophobic misunderstanding some men may have that
male-on-male rape is primarily perpetrated by homosexual men.
Presenters then drew parallels from the male police officer’s experi-
ences to common experiences of female rape survivors. Participants
were then taught basic skills on how to help a woman recover from
rape. Next, presenters discussed how to define consent in intimate
encounters and how to intervene as a bystander to help change social
norms that condone rape. Presenters then led participants through a
guided imagery of a woman close to them being sexually assaulted
while another man, a bystander, did nothing to stop it. Next, partici-
pants were asked to consider what they would do in hypothetical sit-
uations in which they had the opportunity to confront another man
who may be either abusing or preparing to be intimate with a woman
who cannot give consent due to intoxication. Finally, participants con-
sidered what they would do in a potentially sexually intimate situation
involving alcohol.
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
After answering questions, participants were reminded of the preva-
lence of rape and of the necessity for everyone to end men’s violence
against women.
Results
Hypothesis one was that men who joined a fraternity would be more
likely to commit sexual assault during their first year of college than
men who did not join a fraternity. This hypothesis was confirmed. As
can be seen in Table 1, a one-way analysis of variance showed that
prior to entering college, men who joined fraternities and men who
did not join fraternities had statistically equivalent rates of precollege
sexually coercive behavior. An additional one-way analysis showed
that during their first year of college, men who joined fraternities com-
mitted significantly more sexual assaults than men who did not join
fraternities. In addition to the means presented in Table 1, one can
look at this same data as percentages and find that 8% of first-year
men who joined fraternities committed a sexually coercive act during
their first-year compared to 2.5% of men who did not join fraternities.
Table 1
Pre and Post First-year Means, Standard Deviations on
the Sexual Experiences Survey by Fraternity Membership
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
Hypothesis two was that men who joined fraternities and who saw
The Men’s Program would commit fewer acts of sexual assault during
their first year of college than fraternity men who did not see The
Men’s Program. Hypotheses two was confirmed. As shown in table 2,
fraternity men who saw The Men’s Program at the beginning of their
first year committed significantly fewer acts of sexually coercive
behavior during the 7 months of their first year in college than frater-
nity men who did not see this program. In addition to the means
shown in Table 2, it is noteworthy that 6% of first-year men who
joined fraternities and saw The Men’s Program committed a sexually
coercive act during their first year compared to 10% of men who
joined fraternities and did not see The Men’s Program.
Table 2
End of First-year Means and Standard Deviations on the
Sexual Experiences Survey by Fraternity Membership
and September Participation in The Men’s Program
Hypothesis three was that men who joined fraternities and began the
year by participating in The Men’s Program would report significant
declines in rape myth acceptance immediately after and 7 months
after program participation. The researchers further hypothesized this
effect to be lower than a control group at the post and follow-up
posttest. Hypothesis three was mostly confirmed. In order to test
hypothesis three, the researchers computed a two by two by three
mixed analysis of variance with fraternity membership and program
participation as between subjects independent variables, time (pretest,
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
posttest, 7 month follow-up) as within subjects variable and rape
myth acceptance score as a dependent variable.
An interaction between time, program participation, and fraternity
membership indicated differential effects of program participation
over time relative to fraternity membership, F(2, 230) = 4.16,
p= .017. A significant interaction also emerged between program par-
ticipation and time, F(2, 230) = 13.07, p< .001. A significant main
effect also emerged for time, F(2, 230) = (2, 230) = 51.07, p< .001.
As can be seen in Table 3 and Figure 1, men who saw The Men’s
Program and later joined fraternities experienced a significant decline
in their rape myth acceptance from their pretest to their posttest,
F(1, 55) = 37.85, p< .000. This decline in rape myth acceptance
remained significant at the 7-month follow-up posttest, F(1, 55) =
17.98, p< .000. Posttest and follow-up posttest scores were statisti-
cally equivalent, showing no rebound effect. The difference between
the control group and the program group at the posttest was statisti-
cally significant, F (1, 55) = 4.32, p< .05. The difference between the
control and program group at follow up was marginally significant,
F(1, 55) = 2.37, p= .065.
Table 3
Rape Myth Acceptance Before, After, and at 7-Month
Follow-up for The Men’s Program and Control Groups
Separated by Fraternity and Nonfraternity Men
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Figure 1
Mean Rape Myth Acceptance for
First-year Men Who Joined Fraternities
In accordance with the Solomon 4 design, a test to determine whether
pretest effects emerged for rape myth acceptance at posttest or follow-
up posttest or sexual assault at follow-up posttest was computed.
Results showed that the only significant pretest effects in this study
were for the posttest for rape myth acceptance F(1, 451) = 21.51,
p< .001. Thus, first-year men who completed a pretest were more
likely to score lower on the posttest for rape myth acceptance, regard-
less of program condition. Pretest effects were not significant for the
follow-up posttest for either rape myth acceptance or for sexually coer-
cive behavior. Given that the effects of the program measured on the
short- and long-term attitudes of men are well established (Foubert,
2000; Foubert & Newberry, 2006), and that testing the short-term
impact of the program was not part of the research questions for the
study, this result does not have a major bearing on the overall findings.
Discussion
For decades, researchers have sought to write and evaluate a program
that could demonstrate a measurable change in the sexually coercive
behavior among program participants, to no avail (Anderson &
Whitson, 2005; Schewe, 2002). The present study marks the first time
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
the research literature has broken the behavior change barrier in the
rape prevention arena. In this study, men who joined fraternities dur-
ing their first year of college and who saw The Men’s Program at the
beginning of that year reported committing fewer and less severe cases
of sexually coercive behavior when the year was over than fraternity
men who did not see The Men’s Program. In fact, the only incidents of
sexually coercive behavior reported by fraternity men who saw The
Men’s Program were the least severe possible on the scale (unwanted
sexual contact). For the control group, the same unwanted sexual con-
tact was reported by participants along with cases of attempted rape
and coerced intercourse. With the use of a Solomon 4 research design,
evidence points to the program as the source for the behavior differ-
ence between the control and experimental group.
The lessons this study teaches are as much about program develop-
ment as they are about rape prevention. The approach used to create
and continuously revise the program used in this study mirrored what
student affairs scholars have called “the scholarship of practice”
(Carpenter, 2001, p. 304). As such, The Men’s Program is theory-
based, data-based, peer-reviewed, and has changed over time. It is
grounded in a theory of attitude and behavior change (Grube, Mayton,
& Ball-Rokeach, 1994), guided in its development by research on
effective rape prevention program elements (Brecklin & Forde, 2001),
and has been subjected to continuous outcomes assessment testing
(Foubert, 2000; Foubert & Cowell, 2004; Foubert & Newberry, 2006;
Foubert & Perry, 2007; Foubert, Tatum, & Donahue, 2006). In addi-
tion, the program has been rewritten to fit outcomes assessment
research (Foubert, 2005) and readjusted to fit specific cultures
(Foubert, Garner, & Thaxter, 2006).
The result that men who joined fraternities reported long-term
declines in their rape myth acceptance confirmed prior research
(Foubert, 2000). What is interesting is that men who did not join fra-
ternities did not experience a decline in rape myth acceptance. It
could be that the program is more effective for fraternity audiences
than for other college men or it could be that fraternity men are the
ones who have more room to change. It could also be that the program
is more effective with fraternity men and first-year men who have been
influenced by fraternity men, but not as effective with first-year men
who have are not part of social networks with upperclassmen.
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NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
Obviously, not every man is someone who commits a sexually coer-
cive act (Ouimett & Riggs, 1998). Still, more men in this study who
committed sexually coercive acts during their first-year of college were
found among those who joined fraternities. Future research should
focus on larger samples of sexually coercive men who are not only
members of fraternities but who are from other student populations to
identify the most effective method for leading them to be less coercive
in the future.
It is noteworthy that the present study found evidence of behavior
change and attitude change within the same population. In fact, the
evidence for behavior change seems even stronger than that for atti-
tude change. Scholars within and outside the rape prevention field
have long debated the relationship between attitudes and behavior
(Grube, Mayton, & Ball-Rokeach, 1994; Schewe, 2002), noting that a
relationship exists between the two but that one does not necessarily
always follow from the other. This points to the necessity of measur-
ing both constructs when evaluating programmatic interventions and
being careful not to assume that change in attitudes leads to change in
behavior and vice versa.
Perhaps the greatest implication of this study is that it is possible to
lower the incidence of sexually coercive behavior among a group of
men through a programmatic intervention. Student affairs profession-
als have reason for greatly increased optimism in their efforts to pre-
vent rape if they use this or other similar research-based approaches
to prevention. Though future research should confirm the findings of
this study before generalizing them broadly, this early result offers
hope in the fight to end sexual assault on college campuses, particu-
larly when dealing with fraternity men.
Another implication of this study points to the importance of using
theory, research, outcomes assessment, and assessment of student cul-
tures in program design to enhance their efficacy. By grounding a rape
prevention program in the research literature, a result was generated
that is the first to report a behavioral difference in sexually coercive
behavior resulting from a program. Surely this is the beginning, not
the end, of such studies. For this to be a beginning, more programs
grounded in the research literature need to be developed, tested, and
modified in that regard.
744
NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
The present study has several limitations. First, pretest effects for initial
pre/post attitude changes are of some concern. However, given that
immediate attitude change was not part of the research questions for
this study, this concern is attenuated. Another limitation was that the
study occurred on one college campus. To support generalizability,
more campuses and larger populations should be used. In addition, the
difference between the control and experimental group on the follow-
up posttest for attitude change was marginally significant, just shy of
the .05 level, thus raising some question about the strength of the long-
term attitude change resulting from program participation. This could
indicate some slippage of the program’s long term effect on attitudes.
Another limitation to the study is that random assignment to joining
fraternities was not possible given student choices and their freedom of
association, thus the study could only be quasi-experimental.
In this study, men who joined fraternities and participated in The
Men’s Program committed fewer acts of sexually coercive behavior,
and the acts they committed were less severe than those in a control
group. Further research should identify what additional programs can
strengthen this effect to further reduce these men’s sexually coercive
behavior.
Ultimately, this study identifies hope for the field of sexual assault pre-
vention. A longitudinal study with a very high response rate validated
a rape prevention program in its claim to reduce frequency and sever-
ity of sexually coercive behavior of participants. Now that the behav-
ior barrier has been broken in the field of rape prevention, a new fron-
tier stands ready to be explored. How do we make our existing pro-
grams even better to make behavior change even more powerful and
lasting? How do we combine programs to find stronger interactive
effects? How can policy makers, programmers, administrators, people
in the rape prevention and risk reduction movement, and researchers
work together to make even further progress? The well being of many
survivors, and those who might not become survivors, depends on all
of those parties working with all deliberate speed to find more effec-
tive solutions to the highly complex problem of rape on our college
campuses and in our society.
745
NASPA Journal, 2007, Vol. 44, no. 4
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... Prevention programs might specifically target rape myth beliefs among men and those who join all-male peer and/or religious groups in order to reduce rape myth endorsement and help lower risk of perpetration of sexual aggression driven by endorsing such beliefs. Indeed, Foubert's Men's Program has targeted fraternity men in particular who demonstrated decreased rape myth acceptance after participating in the program (Foubert & Newberry, 2006;Foubert, Newberry, & Tatum, 2007). Some scholars also suggest separating prevention programming groups by gender (Lonsway et al., 2009;Vladutiu, Martin, & Macy, 2011). ...
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Both alcohol and exposure to violent pornography have been related to sexual aggression toward women. One link in understanding this relationship may lie in understanding the role of men's empathic responding to a female rape victim. This study examined men's empathic responses toward a female victim in a violent pornographic story as well as their self-reported likelihood to behave like the assailant. The degree to which the personality construct hypermasculinity might moderate the effects of alcohol and situational factors was of central interest. One hundred twenty-one men, recruited from the community, participated in a between-subjects experiment varying subjects' beverage (alcohol vs. placebo vs. tonic), story characters' beverage (alcohol vs. mineral water), and female story character's emotional response (pleasure vs. distress). Results showed that hypermasculinity moderated the effects of the manipulated variables on empathic responses to the female character. The manipulated variables also interacted to affect subjects' responses independently of hypermasculinity.
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Past research demonstrates that sexual assault perpetration is caused by multiple factors including attitudes, early experiences, and situational factors. In this study, 343 college men described either a sexual assault they had committed or their worst date. Discriminant function analysis indicated that attitudes about gender roles and alcohol, number of consensual sex partners, how well the man knew the woman, how isolated the setting was, alcohol consumption during the event, the man's misperception of the woman's cues during the event, and prior consensual sexual activity between the man and the woman discriminated between sexual assaults and worst dates. Additionally, tactics used to obtain sex, self attributions, the perceived seriousness of the assault, and the extent to which it disrupted relationships with others significantly discriminated between men who committed forced sexual contact, sexual coercion, and rape. These results demonstrate the importance of considering both individual characteristics and situational factors in theories and prevention activities.
Article
Rape-supportive attitudes are examined among a sample of university athletes, fraternity members, and controls. A sample of 477 males were recruited on a large southeastern university campus. Comparison of mean scores indicates that fraternity men reported significantly greater agreement with five statements supportive of rape and adversarial gender beliefs than did controls. Athletes reported significantly greater agreement with 14 rape-supportive statements than did controls. The control group reported significantly greater agreement with two rape-supportive statements than did athletes. Results are examined in light of research connecting sexual violence and rape-supportive attitudes.
Article
Social interactions at fraternities that undergraduate women identified as places where there is a high risk of rape are compared to those at fraternities identified as low risk as well as two local bars. Factors that contribute to rape are common on this campus; however, both men and women behaved differently in different settings. Implications of these findings are considered.
Article
Sexually aggressive and nonaggressive college men listened to an audio tape date rape analogue during which cues of nonconsent and force gradually escalated over time, and signified when unwanted sexual advances should terminate. Before listening to the scenario, participants were instructed that the couple depicted on the tape either had or had not consumed alcohol. Alcohol acted as a permissive cue for the sexually aggressive group, delaying their decisions to desist sexual advances compared to aggressive peers who were not provided with this situational disinhibitor. However, the presence or absence of character alcohol consumption did not differentially impact nonaggressive men's decisions. In partial support of a suspicious schema explanation, relatively more aggressive men rated the woman as less honest in expressing her feelings about sex, resulting in overestimations of how much she really wanted to have sex. However, they rated her behavior as less typical than most women's behavior given the same sexual scenario. Suspiciousness was enhanced in the alcohol condition.
Article
Fifty-four male undergraduates (mean age of 19.2 yrs) participated in a rape prevention education program in which they listened to an audiotape of a man versus woman describing the experience of being raped (or they listened to no such audiotape). Two wks later, the students who heard the female tape reported more likelihood to engage in rape-supportive behaviors but no difference in empathy or rape supportive attitudes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This investigation evaluated whether type of programming differentially affects elaboration likelihood model central route processing of rape prevention messages, attitudes, knowledge, behaviors, and stability of change. The 258 participants were assigned to a didactic-video program, an interactive drama, or control. Measured over S time periods, results indicated that (a) the interactive drama was most effective in promoting central route processing; (b) the didactic-video intervention was more effective than the control at altering men's rape myth acceptance at 1 month, but change was not stable; (c) a pattern of rebounding scores on rape attitudes occurred for both interventions; (d) interactive drama participants were more able to identify consent versus coercion; and (e) interactive drama participants demonstrated differences on behavioral indicators. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)