MATERIALS AND METHODS
A cross-sectional study was carried out during January 2013. Students from the selected colleges were invited to participate in the study with prior permission granted by the Institute Head. To obtain an appropriate mix of population, city colleges were selected to represent one predominantly female college (arts), one mixed college (medical), and one predominantly male college (engineering). The total number of participants who opted to participate was 332.
After reviewing the literature, we developed structured scales pretested them and used the scales to measure prevalent rape myths among the students. Data collection tool was prepared by incorporating two scales along with basic sociodemographical data of participants. Perceptions toward current punishment for rape were explored with additional questions.
Attitude toward rape scale It includes 21 questions related to whether participants agree with the rape myths. The Scale was developed and updated by Ward. The responses are scored on a Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 (always, usually, sometimes, seldom and never).
Updated illinois rape myth acceptance scale The 22 items scale were developed and updated by Payne, Lonsway, and Fitzgerald, 1999; McMahon and Farmer, 2011. The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (IRMA) is arguably the most reliable and psychometrically demonstrated rape myth scale. The updated IRMA Scale includes four subscales: (1) She asked for it, (2) it was not really rape, (3) he did not mean to, (4) she lied.
Measurement for updated 22-item IRMA scale was done with 5-point Likert scale (1 = strongly disagree with rape myths to 5 = strongly agree). Higher scores indicate greater rejection of rape myths.
An investigator approached potential study participants in the colleges, after obtaining the written consent from the principal/dean of the respective institute. A session was held by experts to brief participants regarding the study, in which investigators explained the purpose of the study and described what was required to participate in the study. On agreeing to participate, participants were required to review and sign an informed consent agreement, after which they completed the self-administered questionnaire. The investigator read the questionnaire to participants as requested by some of the students. All queries and doubts of the participants were promptly addressed during the process.
MS Excel and Statistical Program for Social Science version 19 (IBM) were used for data entry and analyses. A mean score was created for the updated illinois rape myth scale and each of the five subscales, as well as for attitude toward rape myth scale. Mann–Whitney U-test was used to determine if there were significant differences between genders for rape myth acceptance. Consistency of updated Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale was checked by Cronbach’s alpha.
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