Police records of 38 rape allegations, evenly split into maintained-as-true and withdrawn-as-false categories were compared with 19 generated-false statements from recruited participants. The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (IRMAS) was used to assess the attitudes of the participants and a content analysis derived from IRMAS was used to compare the three categories of allegation. Rape myths were present in all three allegation types. The two categories of false allegation both contained more rape myths than the true allegations but no differences were found between the generated and withdrawn false allegations. High scorers in IRMAS also produced more violent false accounts. In addition to these findings, this study provides support for the further examination of rape myths in both false and true statements and use of generated allegations as proxies for real false statements.
Bibliographical noteThis is an electronic version of an article published in Norton, Russell and Grant, Tim (2008). Rape myth in true and false rape allegations. Psychology, Crime and Law, 14 (4). pp. 275-285. ISSN 1068-316X. Psychology, Crime and Law is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1068-316X&volume=14&issue=4&spage=275