Dr. Helen

Students who watch “Law & Order” were less likely to buy into rape myths'

The Washington Post: “Why ‘Law & Order’ makes its fans smarter about crime — and ‘CSI’ makes them dumber”:

Unsurprisingly, the most popular crime shows among those surveyed were the long-running hit franchises “Law & Order,” “CSI” and “NCIS.” But after controlling for factors like gender and whether the respondents had experience with sexual assault, the researchers found only the “Law & Order” dramas had a positive effect on the students’ views. “NCIS” had a mostly neutral effect, while “CSI’s” was actually negative.

Students who watch “Law & Order” were less likely to buy into rape myths, more likely to adhere to their partner’s decision about whether or not to have sex, and more likely to say no themselves to sexual activity they did not want, the researchers concluded. …

“We can’t say that watching ‘Law & Order’ causes this,” Hust clarified, “but we know there is a definite association there.”

Her hypothesis: “Law & Order” victims don’t cleave to stereotypes: They’re not necessarily alone or in an unsafe place or dressed “provocatively” when attacked. The attackers are of all races, ages and socioeconomic statuses. Even when the victim is a sex worker or porn star, the stories assert that he or she had every right to refuse sex. And at the end of each episode, the criminal is almost always found guilty.