Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2013

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Sharyn Potter

Second Advisor

Rebecca Glauber


The crime of rape, unwanted sexual contact, is a heavily researched topic in the sociological field. The majority of research, however, has revolved around incidences of stranger rape and the typical gender combination of male offender and female victim. The updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale was created to measure the level of participants agree with the typical rape myths of: she asked for it, he didn’t mean to, it wasn’t really rape, and she lied. This research study was designed to test the influence of gender in rape situations and how this affects the acceptance of rape myths. In addition, this acceptance of rape myths was compared with the likeliness to report stranger rape, acquaintance rape, and dating rape; along with the likeliness of having a consistent definition with the official one. Four separate surveys were distributed to 312 participants. Survey A contained situations of male-on female rape, survey B had female-on-male, survey C had female-on-female, and survey D had male-on-male rapes. 176 individuals took part in this survey. Each survey was analyzed for rape myth acceptance and likeliness to report each rape scenario. The overall results revealed that the gender of the victim and offender did not impact individual’s acceptance of rape myths. Limitations of the study and future research implications are discussed.