Influence of Rape Myth Acceptance on Responsibility to Rape Action, and Degree of Rape Trauma: Student Nurses' Perception

Monday, 9 November 2015: 2:05 PM

Adesola A. Ogunfowokan, PhD, MScN, BNSc, RN, RM, RPHN, FWACN
Department of Nursing science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
AanuOluwapo Olajubu, BNSc, MSCN, RN, RM, RPHN,
Department of Nursing Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Francisca Eghonghon Gbenu, BNSc, RN, RM
Amenity Ward, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hopsitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

The study employed a descriptive-explorative design and was conducted among part-time student nurses of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. One hundred and sixteen students participated in the study. The study was aimed at exploring the Rape Myth Acceptance (RMA) of the students. It also determined the influence of the students’ RMA and gender on their perception of victims’ and perpetrators’ responsibilities in cases of acquaintance, stranger, marital and date rape; and degree of trauma experienced by rape victim. An adapted structured questionnaire containing Rape Myth Acceptance Scale with four rape vignettes was used to collect data. Data generated was analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. Results showed that 46% of the students had Low Rape Myth Acceptance (LRMA) while 54% had High Rape Myth Acceptance (HRMA). Less than 50% of the students with HRMA and LRMA assigned ‘lots of responsibility’ to the perpetrator in marital rape while fewer numbers of males (32%) and females (33%) assigned ‘lots of responsibility’ to perpetrators in acquaintance rape. No statistically significant difference existed between those that had LRMA and HRMA in their rating of perpetrator’s responsibility (p = 0.7) but, a statistically significant difference existed in their rating of victim’s responsibility (p = 0.02). However, RMA of the students influenced their perception of degree of trauma when the victim is a prostitute (p = 0.12); a married woman (p =0.21); and a divorced woman (p = 0.05). Also, a smaller percentage of males and females assigned ‘definitely traumatic’ to a prostitute (7.1%, 4.5%), and a divorced woman (17.9%, 26.1%) in perceiving the degree of rape trauma. It is concluded that acceptance of rape myth is still high among student nurses who have the opportunity to manage rape victims and perpetrators in their clinical practice.