Perceived Social Competence as a Predictor of Rape Myth Endorsement

Catharine Gamper, Michigan State University

Data from a 1996-1999 survey of 1,342 clients of female prostitutes are used to examine the contribution of menis perceived social competence toward rape myth endorsement. While a substantial body of research exists in regards to the multiple predictors of rape myth endorsement (e.g., gender, race, sex role stereotyping, and prior victimization), sufficient attention has not been focused on how menis prior socialization experiences with women contribute to the development of these anti-social attitudes. To examine this issue, principal component analysis utilizing oblique (promax) rotation, Cronbach's coefficient alpha, and correlation analysis are initially applied to evaluate the reliability and validity of the perceived social competence and rape myth endorsement scales. Factor analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) procedures were further employed to discern the various structural relationships among the constructs perceived social competence and rape myth endorsement while controlling for a client's age, race, education, and socioeconomic status (Hollingshead SES). An expected two-factor solution was interpreted and perceived social competence is anticipated to be a significant predictor of rape myth endorsement. Findings from this study wiull be explained within the context of attribution theory.

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Updated 05/20/2006