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A Meta-analysis of Media Consumption and Rape Myth Acceptance

Full Article Title: A Meta-analysis of Media Consumption and Rape Myth Acceptance

Open Access: No


The prevalence of rape myths, or false beliefs about rape that blame victims of sexual violence and excuse perpetrators of sexual violence, has been documented throughout a wide range of media content. However, previous meta-analyses of media consumption and rape myth acceptance (RMA) have focused on pornography, and these studies are over ten years old. This research addresses this gap with a meta- analysis studying the relationship between the consumption of all types of media and RMA. Thirty-two studies (N = 12,016) met inclusion criteria. The overall weighted mean effect size was r = 0.09 (p < .001), indicating a small but statistically significant relationship, where media consumption is correlated with greater RMA. Sub-analyses indicated that a few media types, especially violent pornography and general pornography, drove this relationship. Results are discussed in terms of cultivation theory, social cognitive theory, and sexual scripting theory. The results highlight needs for: research exploring the relationship between diverse types of media consumption and RMA, pornography research distinguishing between violent and nonviolent pornographic content, and rape myth-focused media literacy interventions that target adolescents and young adults.


This meta-analysis replicated the findings of previous meta-analyses “regarding pornography consumption and rape myth acceptance, finding statistically significant relationships between pornography consumption and rape myth acceptance.” The study suggests that “public health practitioners should consider implementing interventions focused on media literacy of pornography as a means of reducing RMA, [rape myth acceptance] and subsequently rape incidence.”



Hedrick, A. (2021). A Meta-analysis of Media Consumption and Rape Myth Acceptance. Journal of Health Communication, 26 (9), 645-656.

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