Read about the study here.
Unveiling the Fear of Sexual Assault on College Campuses: "Pryor instead found that how women perceived themselves had the largest impact on their fear. In particular, the women who perceived themselves as being helpless and weak were more fearful of being raped. Those who felt they were invulnerable and could defend themselves easily if attacked had the lowest levels of rape fear.
Pryor said, “To interpret this through a classical social psychological lens, the clustered perceptions women acquire about rape appear to have a self-fulfilling fear effect.” Although gender, prior trauma, and the stigma of rape did not directly increase fear, they acted as secondary influences by magnifying already existing fears in some women. Pryor also found that the younger women in the study were more fearful of being raped than the older women. This suggests that perhaps a shift in risky behavior and risky social networks to more controlled behavior and stable relationships diminishes a woman’s fear as she matures."
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