A Mixed-Gender Date Rape Prevention Intervention Targeting Freshmen College Athletes

Article excerpt

This paper describes the evaluation of a mixed-gender workshop given to all freshman athletes from a large eastern university. A randomized post-test only experimental design was used to compare the date rape attitudes of freshman athletes who were exposed to a mixed-gender date rape workshop (n=56) with those of athletes who were not exposed (n=85). A previously validated instrument, the 25 item Date Rape Attitudes Survey (DRAS) was used as the criterion measure. Three hypotheses were tested with the following results: (1) men athletes reported attitudes that were more tolerant of date rape than those reported by women athletes (i.e., the men were more likely to condone date rape), (2) freshmen athletes in the control group reported attitudes that were more tolerant of date rape than those reported by athletes in the treatment group. The third hypothesis which was tested but not supported was that men athletes did not exhibit a greater program effect than women athletes. Finally, the authors discuss implications of the study and offer recommendations for future date rape prevention programs.

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Women college students are at a particularly high risk for being a victim of rape, particularly date rape or acquaintance rape. The peak age of victimization for women being 16-19 years, while the second highest age-range for victimization is 20-24 years (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1995). Most studies of the frequency of sexual assault among college students indicate that from 25% to 60% of college men have engaged in some form of sexually coercive behavior (Berkowitz, 1992), and that men who grow up in an environment that supports the objectification of women, encourages them to behave in ways that are sometimes violent and coercive, and who also subscribe to traditional sex roles of male sexual dominance are more likely than other men to engage in sexual coercion, sexual assault and rape (Muehlenhard & Falcon, 1990; Berkowitz, 1992).

Previous studies have documented the link between rape supportive ideology and sexually aggressive behavior (Koss, Leonard, Beezley, & Oros, 1985; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987; Reilly et al., 1992), and there is further evidence to suggest that among the general population there are high levels of acceptance of rape tolerant stereotypes (e.g., Giacopassi & Dull, 1986; Goodchilds, & Zellman, Johnson, Giarusso, 1988). Burt (1991) notes that rape-tolerant attitudes and behaviors which are widely accepted, especially by rapists and potential rapists, including adherence to traditional sex-role attitudes; adversarial attitudes toward women, and acceptance of violence toward women, play an important role in contributing to sexual violence. Further, among people who accept these rape stereotypes and violence against women, these attitudes act as "psychological releases or neutralizers, allowing potential rapists to turn off social prohibitions against injuring or using others."

Other researchers have found that people who accept these adversarial sexual beliefs, and traditional sex-role attitudes tend to exhibit greater tolerance of rape, and to blame victims more than the perpetrator, while men report a greater likelihood of raping if they could be assured that no one would know (Acock & Ireland, 1983; Burt & Alkin, 1981; Check & Malamuth, 1983; Fonow, Richardson, & Wemmerus, 1992; Greendlinger & Byrne, 1987; Hamilton & Yee, 1990; Koss et al., 1987; Muehlenhatd & Linton, 1987; Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994; Reilly et al., 1992).

Based on these findings, a recent review of research focusing on rape (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994) concluded that the relationship between acceptance of rape stereotypes and sexually aggressive behavior may be the critical issue in this area. However, such evidence reveals association rather than causality, and other researchers (Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987) have stated that since the relationship between attitudes and sexually aggressive behavior appears stronger among men than among women, it is difficult to determine whether attitudes concerning sexual aggression are the cause or the consequence of sexual aggression. However, it does seem that men's attitudes contribute to rape, whereas women's attitudes are affected by rape.

Among college athletes, acquaintance rape or date rape, is one of the most controversial and troubling issues on college campuses today (Sawyer, 1994). Recent studies suggest that date rape is a very complicated issue, and one likely to have multiple factors contributing to its occurrence. There do however appear to be numerous correlates which contribute to its complexity: 1) mis-communication between partners about how and when consent to have sex occurs (Check & Malamuth, 1983); 2) factors concerning the issues of control and dominance of men over women (Burt, 1991; Russell, 1984); 3) peer influence and peer group membership (Gwartney-Gibbs & Stockard, 1989); 4) the level of sexual experience of the dating individuals (Malamuth, 1989); 5) the location and activity of the date (Lott, Reilly & Howard, 1982); 6) the use of alcohol on the date (Abbey, 1991; Norris & Cubbins, 1992); 7) the date rape victim's history of sexual abuse or victimization (Russell, 1986; Walch & Broadhead, 1992); and, 8) widespread acceptance of rape stereotypes and rape tolerant attitudes among those who perpetrate this behavior (Burt, 1991; Reilly, Lott, Caldwell & Deluca, 1992).

As a specific college population, athletes are often exposed to beliefs and patterns of behavior conducive to sexual abuse which can become an integral part of their collegiate experience. There is also mounting evidence, to suggest that men and women athletes are a population requiring special attention regarding the issue of sexual abuse (Benson, Charlton, & Goodhart, 1992; O'Sullivan, 1991). For many men athletes in particular, these beliefs and behaviors are reinforced by training in aggression, their high social stares on campus, behavior of women fans, alcohol and other drug use, and the peer pressure inherent in most all male groups (Parrot et al., 1994). While the extent to which men athletes endorse these beliefs varies, it has been suggested that men athletes who tend to do so are more likely to consider sexual assault as acceptable behavior (O'Sullivan, 11991; Berkowitz, 1992). In general however, there is limited research focusing on prevention programs on date-rape attitudes among men and women athletes.

Most outreach programs and prevention strategies developed to address the problem of sexual assault and date rape have traditionally focused on changing the behavior of women rather than the behavior of men (Parrot, Cummings, Marchell, & Hofher, 1994). Recent reviews of rape prevention programs and education (Fischhoff, Furby, & Morgan, 1987; Lonsway, 1996) list some 1,140 possible strategies designed to prevent rape. Some of these programs include increased campus lighting, self-defense for women, counseling and advocacy for women, and even guided fantasy and role-playing programs for college students (Lonsway, 1996). Unfortunately, despite this wealth of potential strategies, prevention programs specifically for student athletes are less common and theoretical elaboration and empirical evaluation of many rape prevention programs have been scant (Barth, Derezotes, & Danforth, 1991; Dallager & Rosen, 1993; Fischoff, Furby & Morgan, 1987; Lonsway, 1996). Consequently, little is known about the effectiveness of any particular strategy or program.

In order to address these and other issues associated with rape-prevention interventions, program planners must consider relevant criteria as well as the possible goals of the prevention program. For example: 1) consciousness raising regarding the sexual rights of women and the prevalence of date rape (Levine-McCombie & Koss, 1986); 2) social skills training; 3) assertiveness training for women; and 4) shifting men's and women's attitudes concerning traditional sex roles, adversarial sexual beliefs, and rape stereotypes (Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987).

Purpose

The primary purpose of this study was to compare the date rape attitudes of men and women freshman athletes who were exposed to a mixed-gender date rape workshop with the attitudes of freshman athletes who were not exposed to the workshop. A secondary purpose was to examine gender differences in date rape attitudes.

The present study focuses on the evaluation of a prevention intervention that incorporates date rape stereotypes and rape tolerant attitudes as they relate to the known correlates of date rape, and presents a modified replication of an evaluation of a mixed-gender date rape workshop (Holcomb, Holcomb, Sarvela, & Sondag. 1993). The modifications included utilizing two women health educators rather than a mixed-gender team of facilitators, and specifically targeting men and women freshman athletes rather than the general student population. The research design, instrumentation, workshop content, and time allotted for presentations were replicated from the previous study.

Method

Hypotheses

Using post-test scores as the criterion measure, we tested the three following hypotheses:

1. Freshman athletes not exposed to the workshop will report attitudes that are more tolerant of date rape than freshman athletes exposed to the workshop.

2. Men athletes will report attitudes that are more tolerant of date rape than will women athletes.

3. Men athletes will show a greater treatment impact than will women athletes through exposure to the date rape workshop.

Sample

Data were collected from 141 student athletes at a large mid-eastern university (65.9% men, 34.1% women, mean age = 18.1 years), and included 85.5% White, 9.9% Black, 1.4% Hispanic, 1.1% Asian and 2.1% other. The students in the study were all freshman scholarship and non-scholarship athletes enrolled in five sections of a required, one credit hour health education class taught by two women health education instructors. The course was offered once each week for fifty minutes during the Fall semester of each school year, and the course content addressed contemporary health topics affecting student athletes (e.g. diet and nutrition, stress management, personal relationships and issues related to sexuality). Three of the sections (n = 85) were randomly assigned to the control group (n group 1 = 28; n group 2 = 30; n group 3 = 27), while the other two sections (n = 56) were assigned to the treatment group (n group 1 = 23; n group 2 = 33).

Research Design

This study employed a modified randomized control-group, post-test only research design that included random assignment, a control and a treatment group, and data collection from both groups after the intervention (Isaacs & Michaels, 1985). An essential component of this design was the random assignment of participants to the treatment or control groups. This design was modified in that random assignment of the individual athletes (N = 141) to either the control or treatment group was not possible since the students had already been scheduled into pre-assigned course sections. Consequently, we assigned the course sections randomly to either the treatment (n =2) or control group (n = 3).

The selection of the modified, randomized control-group, post-test design enabled us to use the most rigorous design possible within the limitations of the study and to minimize any reactive interaction (awareness of or sensitivity to the treatment) which may have occurred as a result of pretesting (Sarvela & Mc Dermott, 1993). For example, because of pre-determined course section assignment and time constraints (i.e., 50-minute class periods), the time allowed for the presentation would have been further shortened by the administration of both a pretest and a post-test.

A mixed-gender date-rape prevention program developed by Holcomb, Sondag, & Holcomb (1993) was presented to the men and women freshmen athletes by two women health education instructors. To facilitate consistent replication of the prevention program, the health educators received a copy of the workshop script, a brief training protocol, and a research design protocol. Prior to administration of the program, several phone calls between the investigators and the health educators were used to answer specific questions regarding the content of the presentation.

Instrumentation

The survey instrument used to evaluate the prevention program was an anonymous, self-report Likert-type survey of attitudes called the Date Rape Attitudes Survey (DRAS) (Holcomb et al., 1989), previously developed on the basis of a comprehensive literature search focused on rape and date-rape stereotypes. The DRAS included a 5-point Likert type response option format, and after each item (e.g., "Any woman could prevent rape if she wanted to") students selected one of five response options, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree. The DRAS has an internal reliability Cronbach alpha of .86 and has previously been tested for readability, content validity and face validity.

Description of the Mixed-Gender Prevention Program

The consensual sex scenario is a component of the date rape prevention program, and is largely based on many of the known correlates to the occurrence of date rape and the work of Beneke (1982), who interviewed rapists and identified some of the most common reasons that rapists cited for mistakenly believing consent occurred (e.g., if a woman was dressed attractively, if the man spent a lot of money on the date), (see Holcomb, et al., 1993 for exact wording of the scenario).

Each aspect of the scenario has three main components: 1) relevant aspects for the men participants (e.g., "When a man touches his date's breast, should he tell her whether he wants to have sex?"); 2) relevant aspects for the women participants (e.g., "Before a woman allows a man to touch her breast, should she decide whether she wants to have sex and state this decision?"); and, 3) relevant aspects for both genders (e.g., "If a woman allows a man to touch her breast, has consent to have sex taken place?"). In each consent scenario a series of open-ended questions in a guided discovery format was presented to the athletes by the women educators, with discussion encouraged at each point throughout the presentation.

Before beginning the scenario, the women health educators defined "consent" as having two components: 1) full understanding of all possible repercussions, which rules out either person on the date being intoxicated; and 2) true freedom to say "yes" or "no", which rules out power differentials (e.g., a teacher and a student). The women health educators then informed the students that, for the next few minutes they would be discussing a hypothetical scene (or scenario) about a male and female couple on a date, and that the athletes should determine when and how consent to have sex occurs.

After the scenario, suggestions for preventing future rapes were presented by the women educators as possible recommendations and students were asked to offer modifications (e.g., "Is this a fair recommendation?" or "How could this recommendation be improved?"). An example of a recommendation to men is, "Realize that you and your date may not be in agreement as to whether consent to have sex has occurred. A recommendation for women is, "When in doubt, trust your instincts, it is preferable to error on the side of caution" (see Holcomb, et al., 1993 for the exact wording of the remaining recommendations).

All Human Subject approvals were obtained and the students were told that participation in the study was voluntary and that they were free to refuse to answer any or all of the questions.

Data Collection and Analysis Procedures

Post-test data were collected from the athletes after the regular class period of the health education class ended. The procedures for data collection were the same for the two groups except that the treatment group's post-test data were collected after they had been exposed to the presentation.

All analyses were computed using the personal computer version of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS). Univariate analyses included frequencies, means, standard deviations, minimum and maximum scores ,and coefficients of skewness and kurtosis. Bivariate analyses included analysis of variance (ANOVA), and a post hoc Tukey test to examine the first hypothesis by class group. The multivariate analysis, a 2X2 (Treatment Condition X Gender) factorial analysis of variance, was used to examine the three hypotheses by individual score.

Results

The dependent variable for all analyses was rapesum, which is a summed score of the 25 DRAS items, each of which is rated on a 5-point scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Rapesum has a possible minimum score of 25 and a maximum score of 125, with higher scores representing less tolerance of date rape (i.e., the individual is less likely to condone rape). Nine DRAS items were worded such that they required recoding. For example, the item "It is difficult for a man to tell when a woman wants to have sex" was reversed such that strongly agree equaled five and strongly disagree equaled one. The grand mean for the total sample was 82.16 with a standard deviation of 13.30. The minimum score was 38 and the maximum score was 107.

A 2 X2 factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) on the dependent variable (rapesum) by the independent variables (sex and treatment condition) was performed to examine the three hypotheses by individual scores. The covariates of race (85.8% white, 9.9% black, 1.4% Hispanic, 0.7% Asian, and 2.1% other) and prior exposure to a date rape prevention program (14.2% prior exposure, 85.1% no prior exposure) were added to the analyses to determine whether these variables were systematically influencing the dependent variable (rapesum). Examination of the results of the ANOVA determined treatment and sex main effects to assess the first two hypotheses and Sex X Treatment Condition interaction effects to assess the third hypothesis.

The covariates' effects on the dependent variable (rapesum) were as follows: race F(1, 1.35) = 1.22, p = .271; and, prior exposure to a date rape prevention program F(1, 135) = 3.52, p = .063. Examination of these results indicated that, although prior exposure approached significance, there was no significant relationship between the covariates and the dependent variable (rapesum).

Tests of Hypotheses

Three hypotheses were tested. The first examined whether freshman athletes not exposed to file workshop would report attitudes that were more tolerant of date rape than freshman athletes exposed to the workshop. Assessment of the results of the independent variable (treatment condition) main effect on the dependent variable (rapesum), F(1,135) = 47.089, p = .0001, showed there was a significant difference between the post-test scores of the control and treatment groups after we adjusted for the covariates of race and prior exposure to a date rape prevention program. Examination of the group means indicated that the reported attitudes of the control group (mean = 77.26) were more tolerant of date rape than were the reported attitudes of the treatment group (mean = 89.58), confirming the first hypothesis.

The second hypothesis examined whether men freshmen athletes would report attitudes that were more tolerant of date rape than would women athletes. Assessment of the results of the independent variable (sex) main effect on the dependent variable (rapesum), F(1, 135) = 46.017, p = .0001, showed there was a significant difference between men athlete's and women athlete's post-test scores after adjustment for the covariates. Examination of the post-test means indicated that men athletes (mean = 77.90) reported attitudes that were more tolerant of date rape than did women athletes (mean = 90.40), confirming the second hypothesis.

The third hypothesis examined whether men athletes would show a greater treatment impact than would women athletes through exposure to the date rape workshop. Assessment of the results of the two-way interaction of the independent variables (sex and treatment condition) by the dependent variable (rapesum), F(1, 135) = 2.168, p =. 143, showed there was no significant interaction between men and women athletes in the control and treatment groups after adjustment for the covariates. Examination of the means of men and women athletes in the control and treatment groups revealed that men athletes showed a slightly greater treatment impact than women athletes. Specifically, men athletes in the treatment group reported attitudes with mean scores of 86.3 and men athletes in the control group reported attitudes with mean scores of 72.5, demonstrating a treatment impact of 13.8. Women athletes in the treatment group reported attitudes with mean scores of 95.7 and women athletes in the control group reported attitudes with mean scores of 86.5, demonstrating a treatment impact of 9.2. However, this difference was not significant and the third hypothesis was not confirmed because there was no interaction between sex and treatment condition (see Table 1). Figure 1 shows the 2 X 2 layout with group means and illustrates the results of the Sex by Treatment Condition interaction, depicting no significant difference regarding the treatment impact on men athletes as compared to the impact on women athletes.

Supplemental Analyses

Since it was not possible to randomly assign individual student-athletes to either the control or treatment groups, the unit of randomization was the five classes sampled, and an additional test to reexamine the first hypothesis was performed. The control group (n = 85) comprised three separate groups (n group 1 = 28; n group 2 = 30; n group 3 = 27), with means of 78.46 for group 1, 74.60 for group 2, and 79.56 for group 3. The treatment group (n = 56) comprised two separate groups (n group 1 = 23; n group 2 = 33), with means of 89.91 for group 1 and 88.88 for group 2. Examination of an ANOVA to test for the effects on the dependent variable (rapesum) by the independent variable (group membership), F(4, 136) = 8.937, p = .0001, indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between post-test scores of the groups, and an examination of the means showed that the reported attitudes of the control groups were more tolerant of date rape than were those reported by the treatment groups.

To further analyze the independent variable (group membership), we performed a Tukey post hoc test to determine which pairs of groups were statistically different at the .05 level. Examination of the Tukey post hoc analysis indicated that the means of no two control groups were significantly different from the other and the means of the two treatment groups were not significantly different from each other. Means of both treatment groups were significantly different from all three groups in the control condition, confirming the first hypothesis.

Discussion

Most mixed-gender date rape prevention programs have reported desirable change in rape-supportive attitudes as a result of participation (Briskin & Gary, 1986; Dallager & Rosen, 1993; Fischer, 1986; Fonow et al., 1992; Harrison, Downs, & Williams, 1991). However, it is still not known whether positive treatment effects persist over time, or whether changing rape-supportive beliefs and attitudes immediately following program participation can yield such desirable outcomes such as decreased sexual aggression and increased empathy and awareness toward victims among men and increased awareness and resistance among women.

The primary results of this replication study demonstrate that utilizing two minimally trained women presenters, and targeting a specific population of freshman student athletes can have statistically significant treatment effect on attitudes toward date rape for both individual analysis (n = 135) and group analysis (n = 5), (i.e., the class sampled).

Second, in as much as the prevention program is non-confrontational with the primary focus to educate students on the correct identification of when consent to have sex occurs, and by proxy, to educate students as to the nature of nonconsensual sex, rather than focusing on nonconsensual sex, it was not known whether men participants would be receptive to the message in the absence of a male role model. It is also important to note that the two women educators were able to demonstrate a positive treatment effect is important primarily because of the nature of the mixed-gender program.

Third, that this replication study was unable to demonstrate an interaction effect whereby, men showed greater treatment impact than women through exposure to the date rape workshop, might be evidence of the influence of an absent male role model. The finding that both men and women athletes were both positively influenced by the classroom treatment suggests that the key element for a meaningful prevention program may be having both men and women participants present to examine the ambiguity and confusion that often surround the issue of sexual consent.

Data from this study indicate that targeting a specific population of students and or athletes is an important step toward changing attitudes toward date rape among college populations. Due to their high-profile status on campus, freshmen, whether athletes or not, may be in greater need of rape prevention education than their older peers. Results of the 1991 study were sampled from the general student population and had a mean age of 20.1 (Holcomb et al., 1993). The grand mean on the DRAS for this midwest student population of primarily sophomores and juniors was 91.4. The freshmen student athletes in this replication study were from an eastern university with a mean age of 18.1 and had a grand mean on the DRAS of 82.2. Therefore, keeping time elapsed, geography, and age of students in mind, there is evidence to suggest that this freshmen population of student athletes were indeed appropriate targets for date rape prevention programming.

To better understand the treatment effect, it is helpful to examine results of several individual DRAS items that reflected either major or minor points of emphasis of the workshop. For example, the DRAS item that illustrates the treatment effect was, "It is Okay to have sex with a woman who is heavily intoxicated," where 22.3% of the control group agreed and only 3.6% of the treatment group agreed. Alcohol was a minor point of emphasis and was mentioned once at the beginning of the program regarding the definition of consent educators gave to students. It was mentioned as it applies to how ingesting alcohol would render an individual unable to be aware of all possible repercussions and for that reason for the hypothetical scenario students discussed, neither person was intoxicated. This difference in attitude is useful because research indicates that alcohol use is one of the four strongest predictors of acquaintance rape (Koss, 1988) and that in most rapes, half of men perpetrators and women victims were either intoxicated or "mildly buzzed" at the time (Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987).

A second DRAS item that was a major point of emphasis in the program and showed a difference among groups was the item "It is difficult for a man to tell when a woman wants to have sex" where only 25.9% of the control group agreed compared to 71.4% of the treatment group. This finding was expected because students are asked throughout the prevention program to identify the occurrence of sexual consent during a hypothetical date with progressive stages of intimacy (e.g., consent to go out on a date, consent to kissing). The student athletes in this study seemed to realize that without direct verbal consent to have sexual intercourse, determining with clarity the occurrence of sexual consent was difficult. However, among the athletes, common themes as to why direct verbal communication about consent to have sexual intercourse might be inappropriate, or awkward and embarrassing were raised. It is interesting to note that both men and women often agreed that verbal communication of sexual consent would be inappropriate, but the rationales were often different.

Men often argued that discussing "consent" would represent a "bad strategy", possibly resulting in offending the woman and mining the man's chances to have sex later in the date. Women often raised the argument that for a woman to talk about sexual consent could negatively affect her reputation and could affect a potential relationship negatively by appearing too eager. Regarding the practicality of a woman verbally setting sexual limits with her date if she was sure that she did not want to have sex, women often raised the argument that a woman would appear rode and possibly offend the man for presuming that "all he wanted" was sex.

Alternatives to direct verbal communication which were endorsed by the students to avoid "spoiling the mood" included use of body language and e.s.p. (extra-sensory perception). In order to go on a date, various necessary forms of direct communication have already occurred (e.g., "Do you want to go out?", "Would you like to get a pizza?"). An affirmative response to these questions represents a clear signal that consent to go on a date or to get a pizza has occurred. However, while direct communication is a staple of human interaction, direct communication seems to deteriorate when the topic of discussion is consent to engage in sex.

Results of a pair or related DRAS items concerning traditional beliefs that were minor points of emphasis in the prevention program and also indicated a treatment effect included: (1) "When a woman wears revealing clothes, she is hinting she is willing to have sex", where 21.2% of the control group agreed with this statement compared to 5.4% of the treatment group; and, (2) "It is justifiable for a man to expect sex from a woman if he has spent a lot of money on the date" where 80.0% of the control group disagreed with this statement compared to 92.9% of the treatment group.

Both of these items receive brief emphasis in the workshop when educators asked the athletes whether consent to have sex had occurred as a result of either the woman wearing revealing clothes or the man having spent a lot of money on the date. After the second statement is discussed, the educators explained to the athletes that although these questions seem a bit ridiculous when presented in such black and white terms, they explained that these points have been cited by rapists, the media, and judicial systems as reasons for believing that sexual consent had taken place. The issue of control having an influence on the occurrence of date rape has been supported by the research finding where men who initiated the date and paid all the expenses were more likely to be sexually aggressive (Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987).

Regarding gender differences in date rape, reported attitudes toward the items above showed a strong gender difference with 21.5% of men compared to 2.1% of women agreeing with the former item, and 78.5% of men and 97.9% of women disagreeing with the latter item. Additionally, while 22.6% of men athletes agreed with the statement "Any woman could prevent rape is she really wanted to," only 4.2% of women athletes felt that was the case. Finally, 20.4% of men athletes agreed with the item, "Rape is often provoked by the woman" compared to 4.2% of women athletes. Gender differences in rape supportive ideology such as these are consistent with previous research (Blumberg & Lester, 199 l; Brady, Chrisler, Hosdale, Osowieki, & Veal, 1991; Fonow et al., 1992; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987; Reilly et al., 1992).

Conclusion

Date rape prevention on the college campus is a complex and challenging endeavor. It is a provocative topic with much that is not known regarding direct and indirect causes, and the issue is further compounded by the inability of men and women to recognize or the unwillingness to acknowledge their experiences with rape. For instance, Koss found that only 27% of women whose assault met the legal definition of rape labeled their experiences as rape, and 88% of men whose behavior was reported as an assault that met legal definitions of rape indicated that their behavior was "definitely not rape" (Koss, 1989). These findings support the difficulty researchers have in determining accurate baseline measures of the prevalence of date rape which in turn complicates our ability to assess behavioral change, or even intention to change, based on interventions.

It is encouraging to note that evidence from studies such as ours which support the potential for date rape prevention programs to positively influence attitudes toward date rape are being implemented in more universities throughout the United States. In addition, there is substantial evidence documenting the link between rape-supportive ideology and sexually aggressive behavior (Greendlinger & Byrne, 1987; Koss et al., 1985; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987; Reilly et al., 1992), and a recent review concluded that understanding the relationship between rape-supportive ideology and sexually aggressive behavior is critical to changing attitudes and behaviors related to this issue (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994).

In closing, college populations are in need of being targeted for date rape prevention efforts, and because this population represents an accessible and receptive population to educational intervention, every effort to implement programming at a greater rate than is currently happening is essential. Future date rape programmers should consider the following:

1. Educate all high school and college age students on the nature of what constitutes consensual sex prior to implementing programs which focus exclusively on nonconsensual sex.

2. Due to their age, experience, and possibly a greater need for date rape prevention programming, it is important that these programs target all freshmen students, and not just student athletes.

 
Table 1 
 
Factorial Analysis of Variance of Attitudes Toward Rape (Rapesuma) by 
Sex and Treatment Condition, with Race and Prior Exposure to a Date 
Rape Prevention Program as Covariates. 
 
                                              Deviation from the mean, 
Data                      n       Mean      adjusted for the covariates 
 
Sex 
  Women                   48      90.40                 8.25 
  Men                     93      77.90                -4.26 
Group 
  Control                 85      77.26                -4.89 
  Treatment               56      89.58                 7.43 
    Total                141      82.16 
 
Source                   df      Mean Square       F            p 
 
Covariates 
  Race                     1       130.569        1.221      .271 
  Prior exposure           1       376.233        3.517      .063 
Main effects 
  Sex                      1      4922.226       46.017      .0001 
  Treatment condition      1      5036.810       47.089      .0001 
2-way interactions 
  Sex treatment            1       231.936        2.168      .143 
  Error                  135       106.964 
    Total                140       176.818 
 
a. Rapesum is based on a 25-item attitudes survey with a 5-point scale 
and a possible minimum score of 25 and a maximum score of 125. The 
lower the mean scores represent greater rape tolerance. 

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DEREK R. HOLCOMB, PH.D. 
Eastern Kentucky University 
 
MICHAEL P. SAVAGE, PH. D. 
Associate Professor, 
Department of Kinesiology, 
Elmhurst College, 60126 
Elmhurst, IL 
 
ROGER SEEHAFER, PH. D. 
Purdue University 
 
DEANNA M. WAALKES, M.S. 
Penn State University 

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