Mitigating the Negative Effects of Sexually Violent Mass Communications Through Preexposure Briefings

Daniel Linz, Ilene Arluk Fuson, Edward Donnerstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Three types of educational interventions designed to mitigate the effects of portrayals of violence against women were tested. Male college students were shown an educational documentary on the psychological impact of slasher� films and two rape-education films and assigned to one of three conditions: cognitive consistency, in which they wrote essays about myths of sexual violence, were videotaped reading these essays, and watched a playback of themselves and others advocating their antirape positions; no playback, in which the men wrote essays on the same topics, read them to the camera, and exchanged their essays with others instead of seeing themselves advocate their position; or traditional persuasion, in which subjects watched the educational films, then wrote neutral essays about media use, and watched a playback of these. Two additional control conditions were also included in the design. Later the men watched clips from slasher films and saw a videotaped reenactment of an acquaintance-rape trial and evaluated both. Rape-myth acceptance was marginally lower for those men in the intervention conditions. These men also showed higher levels of depression in response to slasher films and assigned less responsibility to the victim portrayed in the rape trial for her own assault and more responsibility to the defendant compared to subjects in the control conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)641-674
Number of pages34
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Mitigating the Negative Effects of Sexually Violent Mass Communications Through Preexposure Briefings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this