Empirical questions

Empirical questions





Empirical Questions

The experiment was carried out to further previous studies that examined how sexually aggressive behavior and how rape myths are caused by masculinity as the studies also predicted the reasons for sexual aggression in colleges. The previous studies showed that most of the cases that were reported were as a result of heavy and irresponsible drinking, especially in public places. The report also suggested that when young women were involved with athletes, they were more likely to be sexually assaulted or raped. The study focused on men, especially those in college. Since it was easier to look into masculinity as it was compared to other variables as they would show the predictors of male’s sexual aggression in the colleges. Based on the previous studies, one of the most common variables was alcohol. Alcohol changed the perception of men in colleges and they view women as objects of sex leading to more cases of sexual aggression (Locke and Mahalic, 2005).

Another research showed that one-third of the reported rape and sexual assault cases were committed by college athletes. This is because more women were attracted to the best performing athlete and they used this to take advantage of the women. However, none of the studies showed whether alcohol played a part in these scenarios. The purpose of the research by Locke and Mahalic attempted to see the relationship between alcohol and athleticism as rape myths in the colleges. In their argument, they did not feel as though these variables played a major role in the rape and sexual assault cases as other studies from the past suggest.


1. Alcoholism increase in the likelihood of rape in colleges.

2. Athleticism does not have an effect on the sexual assault and rape cases in the institutions.

3. Toxic masculinity increases the number of rape cases on college campuses.

Independent and dependent variables

Among the independent variables in the study included increased problematic alcohol use during events. Testing this would help the researchers to come up with conclusive inferences about rape myths in the colleges. These variables would also help to determine whether when alcohol is involved, there will be more likelihood of sexual assault or rape. The other independent variable in the study was the college athletes and how they contributed to the cases under study. The previous study suggested that a big number of reported rape and sexual assaults were carried out by athletes (Locke and Mahalic, 2005). Masculinity was another independent variable in the study. The researchers used this variable to see it affected the results of the study. Violence and power over women were also investigated in the study as an independent variable. This was imperative as it would help to validate the hypotheses in the research and show conclusive results. Risk-taking was also another factor that would affect the dependent variable. This factor was also investigated during the study to establish whether sexual assault and rape myths were correct about other independent variables.

The dependent variable in the study was the rape myths that revolved around alcoholism and the effect of athletes in colleges. The dependent variable was being tested so that the researchers can make reasonable conclusions when the study is over.

Summary of the results

The results of the study suggested that the mean of sexual myth acceptance rate stood at 64.70 with a standard deviation of 31.60 (Locke and Mahlic, 2005). The mean of rape cases related to athletes’ involvement was 1.32, while that of violence and power over women was 16.58. The mean for alcoholism was 51. 39 and the standard deviation were 29.16 (Locke and Mahalic, 2005). The result supported the hypothesis that toxic masculinity played a major role in the number of rape and sexual assaults in colleges. The other hypothesis that suggested little involvement of athletes is clear in the results. Contrary to what the previous studies showed, athletes are not one of the causes of the increase in the rape and sexual assault cases. Alcoholism, on the other hand, was a major causative agent of rape in institutions of higher learning. Other norms like violence, power over women and violence on women was contributed to the number of rape cases but not as significant as masculinity and alcoholism. The results added onto the findings that linked toxic masculinity to sexual aggression and rape towards women (Bunting & Reeves, 1983; Rando et al., 1998). These studies suggested that masculine norms were a major issue when it came to rape and sexual assaults.

Proposal for the variation of the experiment

The results from the experiment were accurate and the deviation also showed that the outcome was exact. If the experiment was carried out in several institutions maybe the outcome would have been affected. More studies should be carried out to establish what other variations can impact sexual assault and rape myths. This will help to up with new information on the major causes of rape in colleges.


Bunting, A. B., & Reeves, J. B. (1983). Perceived male sex orientation and beliefs about rape. Deviant Behavior, 4(3-4), 281-295.

Locke, B. D., & Mahalik, J. R. (2005). Examining masculinity norms, problem drinking, and athletic involvement as predictors of sexual aggression in college men. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 52(3), 279.

Rando, R. A., Rogers, J. R., & Brittan-Powell, C. S. (1998). Gender role conflict and college men’s sexually aggressive attitudes and behavior. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 20(4), 359.