Summary of Quantitative Research
The quantitative research reported thus far suggests there are at least seven variables on which acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims differ—the nature of her rape script, the amount of force experienced in nonrape sexual experiences, the amount of force used by the assailant in the rape, the amount of negative affect and feelings of victimization ex-
perienced during the rape, whether she used alcohol or drugs prior to the rape, the amount of negative affect experienced after the rape, and the influence of peers following the rape. Researchers examining these variables suggest the cognitions and experiences that a woman brings to the assault situation (rape script, previous sexual experiences, use of alcohol), the cognitions and experiences that occur during the assault (level of assailant force, amount of negative affect), and the cognitions and experiences that occur after the assault (amount of negative affect and behavioral disruptions, reaction of peers) are all likely to affect rape acknowledgment. Putting all of these variables together suggests the following composite of a rape victim who is likely to be an acknowledged victim. Thinking of rape as a violent assault committed by a stranger out of doors predisposes a woman to define her subsequent nonconsensual sexual intercourse with someone she knows as something other than rape. Her rape script and her sexual experience do not match. This discrepancy is heightened if she experienced little force in her nonassaultive sexual experiences as well as in the actual rape. Drinking alcohol and being intoxicated at the time of the incident are additional factors reducing the likelihood of labeling the incident as rape. Unacknowledgment is even more likely if she did not experience intense negative emotions at the time or subsequently, and if her peers suggested she was at least partially to blame for what happened.
On the other hand, acknowledged victims are more likely to think of rape in terms of an acquaintance, and to have experienced force in nonrape sexual situations. Their assailants were more likely to have used at least some level of force, and the victim was less likely to have been intoxicated. She was likely to have had intense negative emotional reactions both during and after the assault; and if she told her peers, they were likely to tell her she was not to blame.