Male Sexual Entitlement and men’s responses to two campus sexual assault prevention approaches.

Open Access
Zawadzki, Tomasz Stanislaw
Graduate Program:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
September 23, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Melvin Michael Mark, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Theresa K Vescio, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Sandra T Azar, Thesis Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • social
  • psychology
  • rape
  • sexual assault
  • campus
  • prevention
  • male sexual entitlement
  • feminism
  • empathy
  • consequences
  • applied
Sexual assault on college campuses is a serious problem in need of systematic research and improved prevention. This need is exacerbated by the scarcity of formative research in the prevention literature. Such research offers an opportunity to tailor effective, evidence-based materials that avoid a “one size fits all” approach to prevention. The purpose of this study was to focus a single moderating variable and test the interaction between that variable and two distinct prevention approaches. Based on the fact that rape is perpetrated overwhelmingly by men I focused exclusively on a male audience. I employed Male Sexual Entitlement (MSE) – an internalized subset of masculine norms that perpetuates the belief that women own men sex – as the moderating variable and created the Male Sexual Entitlement Scale (MSES) that allows for its measurement. I used two video-based prevention materials to reflect the two distinct prevention approaches. The first focused on inducing empathy towards rape victims, while the second underscored consequences of rape for the perpetrator. The Dependent Variables were based on a battery of self-report measures, which tested behavioral intent to rape, arousal to depictions of consensual and non-consensual sex, rape myth endorsement, and the ability to empathize with a rape victim and a rapist. I predicted an interaction whereby the empathy video will be more beneficial for men low in MSE, while the consequences video will be more beneficial for men high in MSE. Results support the predicted beneficial effect of the perpetrator consequences videos for high MSE men in the case of the behavioral intent measures. MSE in general proved to be a consistent predictor of scores on the majority of rape-related variables, which further validates the construction and use of MSES. Limitations and implications of the results are discussed.