College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Development and initial psychometric assessment of the Rape Avoidance Inventory

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2009

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

ISSN

0191-8869

Volume

46

Abstract

Rape is a traumatic event with severe consequences for women. Therefore, women may have evolved psychological mechanisms that motivate them to avoid circumstances linked with rape. We present the development and initial psychometric assessment of an inventory designed to assess women’s rape avoidance behaviors. In Study 1 (N = 99), we conducted an act nomination procedure to identify specific behaviors for inclusion in a preliminary rape avoidance inventory. In Study 2 (N = 144), we secured performance reports for the behaviors assessed by the inventory. We present the results of principal components analyses and the construction of the rape avoidance inventory (RAI). We identified four components of women’s rape avoidance behaviors as assessed by the RAI: avoid strange men, avoid appearing sexually receptive, avoid being alone, and awareness of surroundings/defensive preparedness. We demonstrate that, as predicted, performance of rape avoidance behaviors is negatively associated with a measure of interest in and pursuit of short-term sex. We conclude that the RAI is a useful tool for future research on rape avoidance and rape prevention.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.026

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