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Psi Chi Journal Summer 2012


Volume 17.2 | Summer 2012
Download This Issue - All articles are now free.

Are You the Problem, or the Solution? Changing Male Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Sexual Assault

Alexandra Cassel, Colgate University

ABSTRACT: Sexual assault (SA) prevention efforts on college campuses usually target women (the victims); yet men are far more likely to be the perpetrators of sexual violence. The present study evaluated how male attitudes, measured by rape myth acceptance, and behaviors, measured by willingness to seek information, could be changed pro-­socially. A false feedback paradigm was used to manipulate male personal responsibility by presenting men with sham rape myth acceptance scores. Results indicate that men who received the "high score” (signifying high rape myth acceptance) had greater personal responsibility for the issue, and thus increased concern, as determined by lower rape myth acceptance at post­-test and willingness to seek out further information on SA minimization. In order to incite change, men need to feel personally responsible for the issue of SA.

Relationship Between Perfectionism and Academic Cheating

Christina R. Krone and Steve V. Rouse, Pepperdine University; Lisa M. Bauer, Pepperdine Univ and Univ of Missouri–Columbia

ABSTRACT: The present study examines the relationship between three types of perfectionism (self-­oriented, socially­ prescribed, other­-oriented) and the frequency and recency of engagement in academic dishonesty. Eighty­-three Pepperdine University undergraduates completed three questionnaires used to gather demographic information and to measure levels of perfectionism, and the frequency and recency of academic cheating. Ninety­-eight percent of the sample reported engaging in at least one academic cheating behavior at some point during their life. Self­-oriented perfectionism scores of individuals who reported engagement in both "submitting someone else’s paper as my own” and "dishonest reporting of attendance for an internship, service ­learning, or similar requirement for a course” were significantly lower than those who did not report engaging in these behaviors. Socially­ prescribed perfectionism scores positively correlated with frequencies of dishonest attendance reporting. The results can be used to better understand the role of personality traits in academic dishonesty.

The Inversion Effect: Biological Motion and Gender Recognition

Benjamin McGlothlin, Dawn Jiacoletti, and Lonnie Yandell, Belmont University

ABSTRACT: Experimenters have demonstrated human’s ability to perceive biological motion using point­-light animations. Observers have also recognized gender based on these displays. Furthermore, inversion effect or preference for upright stimuli for biological motion has been documented in the literature. While the inversion effect has been documented in various experimental tasks, this effect needs to be examined on the basis of recognition of gender. The primary aim of this experiment was to examine the inversion effect using a novel task to replicate or refute, as well as to examine how inversion impairs gender classification. Twenty­-seven participants completed gender recognition trials on both inverted and upright point-­light displays, and experimenters measured accuracy of gender recognition. Observers were less accurate at recognizing gender in inverted point­-light displays of human biological motion, and the inversion effect impacted identification of male stimuli more than female stimuli. While further research needs to be conducted, it should be noted that some participants reported making gender decisions based on specific areas of the human anatomy, which could be relevant for future studies.

Perceived Vulnerability to HIV Infection, Anti-Gay Prejudice, and College Student Sexual Behavior

Laura C. Spiller, Beverly Stiles, David Carlston, and Laura A. Hise, Midwestern State University

ABSTRACT: Despite demonstrating adequate knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS, college students continue to report low levels of safe sex behaviors. Effective risk reduction strategies rely on identifying and addressing cognitive barriers such as prejudice that HIV/AIDS is a disease affecting only certain populations such as gay males and intravenous drug users. These beliefs can interfere with the success of effective HIV/AIDS prevention programs by making it difficult, embarrassing, or threatening to engage in preventive behaviors. This study tested the hypothesis that prejudice toward gay men would predict perceived personal vulnerability to HIV infection and engagement in protective sexual behaviors, specifically talking with one’s partners about the chance of HIV transmission and being tested for HIV infection. Students with higher levels of anti-­gay prejudice reported less perceived vulnerability of HIV infection, after controlling for higher risk sexual behaviors, R2 = .19, F(1,148) = 8.30, p = .004. Greater prejudice was also related to less likelihood of having been tested in the past year. We discuss implications for augmenting prevention programs by targeting misconceptions stemming from anti-­gay prejudice.

Examining Relationships: Communication and Satisfaction in Lesbian and Heterosexual Women

Elizabeth Brashier and Jennifer Hughes, Agnes Scott College

ABSTRACT: In light of the current literature concerning communication and satisfaction in relationships, we examined whether there are differences in communication and its impact on the relationship and sexual satisfaction of lesbian and heterosexual women. A sample of 209 heterosexual and 94 lesbian women completed an online survey about relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and communication variables. Greater physical touch indicated greater relationship satisfaction for lesbian compared to heterosexual women. There was not a significant interaction between sexual orientation and physical touch in relation to sexual satisfaction. Greater words of affirmation indicated greater sexual satisfaction for heterosexual women compared to lesbian women. There was no significant interaction between sexual orientation and words of affirmation in relation to relationship satisfaction. There was no significant difference between lesbian and heterosexual women on relationship satisfaction, nor was there a significant difference between lesbian and heterosexual women on sexual satisfaction. A central implication from these findings is that working to improve verbal communication in heterosexual couples and physical touch in lesbian couples might lead to improved sexual satisfaction. These findings are important to consider from the perspective of both couples and sex therapy work.

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