Almost a third of the men (31.7 percent) said that in a consequence-free situation, they’d force a woman to have sexual intercourse, while 13.6 percent said they would rape a woman. Setting aside the fact that it’s terrifying that a full third of a random group of college men will admit to this, the 20-point divide is still weird, even if it does reflect what’s been observed in previous research: At the end of the day, after all, the two groups are saying the exact same thing.
So how did those who endorsed rape differ from those who “only” endorsed forcible intercourse? Edwards and her team found that the men who endorsed rape when the term was used had higher hostility toward women and more callous attitudes about sex. This might matter from a prevention standpoint. The researchers think that “men who endorse using force to obtain intercourse on survey items but deny rape on the same may not experience hostile affect in response to women, but might have dispositions more in line with benevolent sexism.”
In other words, not all potential rapists go around talking about how much they hate women, and this suggests there “is no one-size-fits-all approach to sexual assault prevention.”