Evaluations of rape theoretically play an important role in sexually aggressive behaviour (e.g., Nunes, Hermann, & Ratcliffe, 2013). The purpose of this dissertation was to explore the relationship between implicit and explicit evaluations of rape and sexually aggressive behaviour using a longitudinal research design online. Study 1 examined the use of a self-generated identification code (SGIC) to track participants anonymously online. Study 1A examined a six question SGIC in a sample of 168 students and found the SGICs produced unique identifiers, and a low, but acceptable, exact match rate across a one month period. Study 1B explored a 12 question SGIC with a sample of 30 students and 15 community participants. The 12 question SGIC also produced unique identifiers, and resulted in a low, but acceptable, exact match rate across a one week period. These results suggest the 12 question SGIC can be used in longitudinal research online.
Study 2 explored the cross-sectional relationships between implicit and explicit evaluations of rape and sexually aggressive behaviour using a sample of 150 male students and 378 community men. In both samples, explicit evaluations of rape had moderate to strong positive relationships with sexually aggressive behaviour. The same pattern of results was not observed for implicit evaluations of rape.
Study 3 examined the relationship between implicit and explicit evaluations of rape and sexually aggressive behaviour using a longitudinal research design. Study 3 Wave 1 replicated and expanded on Study 2 using a sample of 190 male students and 597 community men. Importantly, four different measures of implicit evaluations of rape were used. The same pattern of results as observed in Study 2 was found. Participants in Study 3 Wave 2 were 248 community men who had completed both Waves 1 and 2. Implicit and explicit evaluations of rape at Wave 1 significantly predicted self-reported sexually aggressive behaviour at Wave 2. These findings suggest that both implicit and explicit evaluations of rape may be relevant for sexually aggressive behaviour. If replicated, these results have important implications for theory, research, and correctional practice.