Rape Myths Acceptance among Adolescents – A Longitudinal Mediation Analysis

Ksenija Klasnić, Aleksandar Štulhofer

Abstract


This study explores whether neo-sexist attitudes mediate the
association between sexualized media use (including
pornography) and rape myths. In a 3-wave panel of
Croatian high-school students (136 male and 326 female
adolescents), the mediation hypothesis was not confirmed.
Moreover, the association between neo-sexism and rape
myths was conformed only among female adolescents (the
average acceptance of neo-sexism was higher in male than
female participants). Contrary to what was expected,
pornography use – which was unrelated to neo-sexism – was
negatively associated with rape myths in both male and
female adolescents, although the relationship was statistically
significant only among the latter. Among male participants, watching movies and sequels on television or the Internet
was predictive for neo-sexist attitudes. This study's findings
point to the need of studying the use of sexualized media
among adolescents to identify factors associated with
trivialization and/or misinterpretation of sexual violence and
aggression. Considering that adolescents differ in their
susceptibility to the influence of media, future studies should
focus on possible moderation effects of family and peer
socialization.


Keywords


adolescents, electronic media, pornography use, rape myths, neosexism

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