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Violence Against Women. 2009 Feb;15(2):133-47. doi: 10.1177/1077801208329391.

The effects of survey question wording on rape estimates: evidence from a quasi-experimental design.

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  • 1University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Abstract

The measurement of rape is among the leading methodological issues in the violence against women field. Methodological discussion continues to focus on decreasing measurement errors and improving the accuracy of rape estimates. The current study used a quasi-experimental design to examine the effect of survey question wording on estimates of completed and attempted rape and verbal threats of rape. Specifically, the study statistically compares self-reported rape estimates from two nationally representative studies of college women's sexual victimization experiences, the National College Women Sexual Victimization study and the National Violence Against College Women study. Results show significant differences between the two sets of rape estimates, with National Violence Against College Women study rape estimates ranging from 4.4% to 10.4% lower than the National College Women Sexual Victimization study rape estimates. Implications for future methodological research are discussed.

PMID:
19126832
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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