An Examination of Students' Personal Interactions and Rape Perceptions
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Social learning theory states that social behavior of any type is learned primarily by observing and imitating actions of others. Burgess and Akers (1966) developed social learning theory to explain deviancy by combining the variables that encouraged delinquency (e.g., social pressure from delinquent peers) with variables that discouraged delinquency (e.g., the parental response to delinquency in children). This study aims to measure reported levels of peer pressure and exposure to past and recent violence and use the results to analyze levels of rape myth acceptance. The primary research question posed in this research is: What is the relationship between peer pressure, exposure to past or recent violence, and rape myth acceptance? A survey consisting of 91 questions was emailed to 500 male college students. Overall, it was found that those who report higher exposure to peer pressure will have higher reported levels of rape myth acceptance when compared to those who have not been exposed to high levels of peer pressure.