Quantcast
Connect with us

Teaching girls to say ‘no’ in virtual reality cuts sexual victimization by half: study

Published

on

A study by researchers at Southern Methodist University has demonstrated that teenage girls who learn to assertively decline sexual advances in a virtual reality simulator are less likely suffer long term effects from sexual victimization.

The training program, called “My Voice, My Choice,” allowed “girls to practice being assertive in a realistic environment. The intent of the program is for the learning opportunity to increase the likelihood that they will use the skills in real life,” associate professor of psychology at SMU Simpson Rowe said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Research has shown that skills are more likely to generalize if they are practiced in a realistic environment, so we used virtual reality to increase the realism,” she continued. “It is very promising that learning resistance skills and practicing them in virtual simulations of coercive interactions could reduce the risk for later sexual victimization.”

The simulation training is similar to technology used to train soldiers, physicians, and pilots. Small groups of two to four women were trained by a facilitator how to engage in “assertive resistance,” including the use of a firm voice, exhibiting confidence in body language, and clearly stating their limits. They then practiced these skills in the “virtual coercive simulator” designed by the SMU research team.

In it, they would be seated on a bed with a male who engaged in aggressive behavior that escalated in the face of the teen’s resistance. The teens would then review footage of their encounter with the facilitator and the other members of their group.

Renee McDonald, one of the study’s co-authors, said that “one advantage the virtual simulations offer is the ability to actually observe whether, and how, the girls are using the skills in coercive situations that feel very real.”

“This provides girls with opportunities for immediate feedback and accelerated learning, and for facilitators to easily spot areas in need of further strengthening. The value of this advantage can’t be overstated.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Only 10 percent of the participants in the “My Voice, My Choice” group reported sexual victimization in the next three months, compared to 22 percent of students in the control group. Even those participants in the group who were victimized, however, reported lower levels of psychological distress than their counterparts in the control group.

The program also had a positive effect on girls who had been victimized prior to participating in it, which Simpson Rowe said was “particularly noteworthy, because other violence prevention programs have generally been ineffective or less effective for previously victimized young women.”

The study’s authors pointed out that they are not suggesting that the victims of sexual abuse invite the violence upon themselves.

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Critics of sweeping policy changes always make one huge mistake: Robert Reich

Published

on

In last Wednesday night’s Democratic debate, former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg charged that Senator Bernie Sanders’ policy proposals would cost $50 trillion. Holy Indiana.

Larry Summers, formerly chief White House economic advisor for Barack Obama, puts the price tag at $60 trillion. “We are in a kind of new era of radical proposal,” he told CNN.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

Bernie Sanders campaign accepts apology from MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews: ‘We got to get past it’

Published

on

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews on Monday apologized to the Bernie Sanders campaign after comparing his dominance in the first three states of the 2020 presidential nomination to the fall of France to the Nazis in World War II.

Sanders senior advisor Chuck Rocha was asked on Fox News for response.

"Look, we all get hot and say things in the moment, I'm glad Chris apologized," Rocha said. "We got to move on and get past it, I'm glad he said what he had to say, I'm tired of folks on Twitter fighting with each other, it's time to win this election."

https://twitter.com/Acyn/status/1232099452531331072

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

‘Breathtaking fiscal hypocrisy’ of the GOP may win Trump reelection: Nobel economist

Published

on

Donald Trump was blasted for his economic policies by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman -- who worries it just might work to get the president reelected.

"It may have slipped by you, but last week Donald Trump suggested that he may be about to give U.S. farmers — who have yet to see any benefits from his much-touted trade deal with China — another round of government aid," Krugman wrote in The New York Times. "This would be on top of the billions in farm aid that Trump has already delivered, costing taxpayers several times as much as Barack Obama’s auto bailout — a bailout Republicans fiercely denounced as 'welfare' and 'crony capitalism' at the time."

Continue Reading
 
 
close-image