Addressing Male-Targeted University Sexual Aggression: An Experimental Evaluation of a Social Norms Approach

Nelson O.O. Zounlome, Y. Joel Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

We experimentally examined the impact of male undergraduates’ exposure to real antisexual assault injunctive social norms on their attitudes and intentions related to perceived appropriateness of alcoholfacilitated sexual assault, rape myth acceptance, self-perceived likelihood of committing sexual assault, and future intentions to commit sexual coercion. A total of 353 male participants were randomly assigned to three conditions—local injunctive norms (antisexual assault norms based on male undergraduates at their university), general injunctive norms (antisexual assault norms based on men in general), and control. Planned contrast analyses of variance demonstrated that those in the local injunctive norms condition had lower levels of perceived appropriateness of alcohol-facilitated sexual assault, rape myth acceptance, self-perceived likelihood of committing sexual assault, and future intentions to commit sexual coercion. Additionally, past history of sexual aggression perpetration moderated the experiment effects. Specifically, the injunctive local norms and general norms conditions had a greater impact on reduced self-perceived likelihood of committing sexual assault for those higher in past sexual aggression perpetration. These findings have important implications for college-based male-targeted sexual assault prevention, particularly in high-risk sexual assault perpetrators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-540
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology of Men and Masculinity
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • college men
  • local norms
  • sexual aggression experimental evaluation
  • social norms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • Applied Psychology

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