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Rape Myth Acceptance and the News Media
AdvisorWhite Stewart, Mary
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Ample research has been conducted on rape as a crime. In the past few decades, researchers have also begun to look at rape myths, which are “attitudes and beliefs that are generally false but are widely and persistently held, and that serve to deny and justify male sexual aggression against women” (Lonsway & Fitzgerald 1992, 134). These myths allow perpetrators to be absolved from responsibility while victims of rape are held blameworthy for their own attacks. This study will seek to expand on previous research to discover if rape myths are widely used by the online news media in high-profile cases. Using the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, media coverage of high profile cases are assessed to determine what types of rape myths (if any) are present and if any counterarguments are presented to rebut these stereotypes.