Researcher Good Role Models Improve Sexual Attitudes

first_imgShare Contact: Winston Derden Phone: (713) 831-4793 Researcher: Good Role Models Improve Sexual Attitudes On campuses across the nation, gender relation issues, including sexual assault and date rape, are thefocus of growing attention. During the past five years, Rice’s director of health education Cynthia Lanier has developed programs to educate students on preventing date rape and sexual assault. Lanier’s educational efforts prompted recent research to evaluate the effectiveness of the date rape and sexual assault awareness training she has developed. Her training materials and evaluative research have been requested by other universities putting together sexual riskawareness programs. Lanier created her research survey when she found no adequate instrument for testing the sexual attitudes of college-age students. She compiled a 45-question survey that evaluates risk factors for date rape such as power disparity between males and females in dating situations, misconceptions about sexual communications andsex-role stereotyping. From the questionnaire, Lanier and a group of Rice studentswrote Scruples, a play depicting at-risk situations. Lanier’s research evaluates the effectiveness of Scruples followed by interactive group discussions. Both the play and the discussions role-model positive sexual behavior designed to improvesexual attitudes and behaviors.“Rice students tend to score well on the initial attitude surveys, but those attitudes show improvement with awareness training,” Lanier said after completing preliminary reviews of the research. Lanier’s survey tested 436 incoming freshmen this fall before they saw Scruples. Then half of that group saw the play followed by an unrelated activity. The other half saw the play then broke into small, interactive discussion groups led by trained student facilitators to study three scenarios portraying sexual aggression and responses to those situations. Both groups were tested after attending the play or the play and discussions, then tested again two months later. Lanier said the immediate follow-up survey for both groups revealed an improvement in student attitudes toward dating and male and female interactions. The two-month follow-up, which is a unique extension of this type of research, is currently being analyzed. ### AddThislast_img

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