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Gender roles, Patriarchal norms, Rape myth acceptance, Sexual socialization, Sexual violence, South Asian Canadians


C. Senn


J. Ku




Sexual violence within the South Asian community in Canada is less researched than other forms of violence against women. Emphasis on the loss of chastity during sexual violence, a narrative found within the South Asian community, is a type of victim blaming that could help perpetuate rape myth acceptance among South Asian individuals.Social learning theory and the ecological systems theory point towards certain processes, attitudes, and beliefs within all cultural communities that can shape individuals’ perception on rape myths. The current study examined whether factors such as gender, sexual socialization, attitudes towards gender roles and patriarchal norms could predict levels of rape myth acceptance among students of South Asian ancestry in Canada. A diverse sample of 116 South Asian students in Canada (60 men and 56 women), born and raised in Canada and South Asia, between the ages of 17-25, completed an online quantitative survey. As expected, male students held higher levels of rape myth acceptance than female students. Beyond the effects of gender, students who held more traditional attitudes towards gender roles and endorsed patriarchal norms at higher levels also reported higher levels of rape myth acceptance. While men received more permissive messages about sex than did women, sexual socialization was unrelated to rape myth acceptance when other attitudes were considered. These findings demonstrate the influence of gender, attitudes towards gender roles and patriarchal norms in shaping levels of rape myth acceptance held among South Asian students in Canada.

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