Education programs for male university students to prevent sexual violence

About this review

This Intervention Review is primarily based on six systematic reviews and 32 primary studies, published across 39 documents.

The review draws on the best available impact evaluation evidence. The studies were selected against set selection criteria which is based on a rigorous and comprehensive search and screening process. This review includes impact evaluations of the intervention and therefore does not necessarily reflect all evidence on the intervention. Further materials on this intervention are listed under References and Further Reading.

See the Prevention Evidence and Gap Map to explore similar interventions. For details about the individual studies, see the Included Studies section. For further information about the methods informing this review, please see the Intervention Review Technical Report (forthcoming).

This Intervention Review focuses on educational sexual violence prevention interventions for male university and college students. The interventions captured in this review are primarily didactic in nature and may include additional components such as bystander intervention. Programs based primarily on bystander intervention set in tertiary education are the focus of forthcoming Intervention Reviews, which will be hyperlinked here once published.

Suggested citation: ANROWS. (2023). Education programs for male university students to prevent sexual violence. . Evidence Portal Intervention Review. ANROWS.

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Date Created: 30 November, 2023
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At a glance

Intervention

Interventions focus on educating male students about sexual violence, with an aim to build empathy for victims and survivors, raise awareness about the influence of gender socialisation and social norms, dispel rape myths, and challenge sexual violence-supportive attitudes

Key populations

Male university students who have not necessarily perpetrated sexual violence

Outcomes studied

Gender-based violence; behaviours; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; lived experience; relationships; wellbeing and emotions

Impact of the intervention

Of the 32 primary studies, seven outcomes received an effectiveness rating on our Effectiveness Estimate Tool

Australian Evidence

None of the studies presented findings from Australia

Risk of bias

Of the studies with available quantitative data, we rated 2 as very low or low, 0 as moderate, and 15 as high or very high risk of bias on the Risk of Bias tool

Intervention description

What are the key characteristics of the intervention?

Didactic sexual violence educational interventions for male university students seek to build men's empathy for victims and survivors, raise awareness about the influence of gender socialisation and social norms, dispel rape myths and challenge sexual violence-supportive attitudes. The overarching aim is to prevent young men from potentially perpetrating sexual violence, particularly sexual assault.

The educational nature of these interventions means participants learn about key statistics on the prevalence of sexual violence and its legal definitions, consent and sexual communication, and rape myths. Other topics cover attitudes towards rape, sexually aggressive behaviours and dispelling myths and misperceptions of sexual violence. These interventions generally involve the presentation of educational materials (often shown in a video format), followed by activities like hypothetical scenarios or vignettes of sexual violence and facilitated small group discussions.

These interventions are generally underscored by three main approaches:

Theory of change

How is the intervention designed or theorised to work?

Many of the primary studies did not describe the theory of change behind the interventions (14 of 32 studies). These interventions hypothesised that teaching cohorts of male students about sexual violence will induce empathy for victims and survivors’ of sexual violence, will, in turn, alter rape-supportive attitudes and ultimately aid in the cessation of sexual violence on campus

For studies that described a theoretical basis, the interventions were primarily based on existing models such as:

Some interventions also relied on a combination of other underlying behavioural theories such as:


Impact

This section speaks to the effectiveness of the studies.

The included studies measured a large range of outcomes across the categories of behaviour (e.g., bystander or consensual behaviours), gender-based violence (e.g., intent to rape or sexual assault), knowledge, beliefs and attitudes (e.g., attitudes towards consent or knowledge of how to help victims/survivors), relationships (e.g., communication or social connectedness), wellness and emotions (e.g., emotional skills or empathy), and perceptions of the intervention.

Studies were critically appraised for their risk of bias on the ANROWS-IRIS tool. Of the 20 studies with available data, two received a rating of low risk of bias, 14 received a rating of moderate-high risk of bias, and one received a rating of high risk of bias. Three meta-analyses were also critically appraised on the AMSTAR 2 rating tool, of which one received a rating of moderate confidence and two received a rating of critically low confidence.

Although many of the critically appraised studies were randomised controlled trials, they tended to be rated as a high or moderate risk of bias on the ANROWS-IRIS domains of selection bias and confounders. In terms of selection bias, some studies did not report their target population, or sampled participants from biased sources. For example, an intervention targeting college men may be biased if the participants are from fraternities, because men who are not fraternity members are unrepresented, making the findings ungeneralisable for all college men. Studies tended to have a higher risk of bias on the domain confounders because many did not assess equivalence between the intervention and control groups.

Findings in the impact table below draw two primary studies that received a low risk of bias on the ANROWS-IRIS tool and one meta-analysis of moderate confidence on the AMSTAR 2.

✅ = Most systematic reviews and studies show effectiveness
🟢 = Most studies show effectiveness
🟨= Most systematic reviews and studies show no effect
🟡 = Most studies show no effect
⛔= Potentially harmful
🔵 = Mixed evidence
✖ = Insufficient causal evidence
🕓 = Not yet rated

Effectiveness rating
Outcome
Description

Rape myth acceptance

Rape myth acceptance was measured in one meta-analysis of moderate confidence, and two primary studies with low risk of bias.

A meta-analysis of five studies specifically for male fraternity members indicated a moderate and significant effect size. The authors concluded that these interventions successfully reduced participants’ rape myth acceptance.

In one primary study, results indicated no effect on rape myth acceptance at 7 months following the intervention. The second study examined two versions of an empathy-based intervention. It found that the program with an additional module on bystander intervention had a significantly lower rape myth acceptance than those in the control group, while an intervention with an additional module on consent did not have a statistically significant difference at immediate follow-up.

Likelihood of perpetrating sexual assault

One study found that two versions of an empathy-based intervention (one with an additional module on consent and another on bystander intervention) had significantly less likelihood of perpetrating sexual assault than those in the control group, measured immediately after the intervention.

IPV

Most studies (n = 2) show reduced intimate partner violence, and report that the intervention was effective for reducing PTSD at the six-month mark post-intervention.

Empathy towards victims/survivors

Empathy towards victims and survivors was measured in two low risk of bias primary studies. In one study, results indicated that there was no effect of the intervention on empathy towards victims and survivors at 7 months follow-up. The second study examined two versions of an empathy-based intervention and found that the program with an additional module on bystander intervention had significantly more empathy towards victims and survivors than those in the control group, while an intervention with an additional module on consent did not have a statistically significant difference, at immediate follow-up.

Intention to rape

Intention or likelihood to rape was measured in two low risk of bias studies. In one study, there was no statistically significant difference between the behavioural intent to rape in two empathy-based interventions (each with an additional module on either consent or bystander intervention) and the control group, at immediate follow up. In another study, there was not a statistically significant effect on self-reported intent to rape at 7 months follow-up.

Sexual aggression

One study found no statistically significant effect on self-reported sexually aggressive behaviour at 7 months following the intervention.

Socially desirable responding

One study found that there was not a statistically significant effect on social conformity at 7 months following the intervention.

General empathy

One study found statistically significant effects in favour of the control group with a greater decrease in general empathy at 7-month follow-up. The authors emphasise the presence of measurement effects which may limit the conclusions of the paper. That is, administering a survey asking about empathy before receiving the intervention may have affected participants’ post-survey responses.

Key Populations

Has the impact of this intervention been tested with certain key populations?

This Intervention Review assessed the impact of sexual violence prevention education for male students in tertiary education settings. These interventions were delivered to cohorts of male-only university or college students. Participants were mostly undergraduate-level students based in United States fraternities who were aged 18 to 25 years. The interventions were not designed for any specific cultural or ethnic groups, people with physical or mental disabilities, or health conditions. Many of the interventions were delivered to students who were young, white and single, meaning the impact of the interventions have not been tested with certain key populations.

The table below gives an overview of whether or not the intervention was examined with some key populations. The inclusion of these populations was guided by the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 and the Australian National Research Agenda to End Violence against Women and Children: 2023-2028.

🔴 = no studies
🟡 = at least 1 study mentions that population, but effectiveness wasn't tested with that population
🟢 = at least 1 study tests effectiveness with the population

Population What do we know about this group? Degree of knowledge
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities

0 studies. The appropriateness of this intervention with this population has not yet been established. Therefore, we cannot confirm the applicability of this intervention to this population

Sexuality and gender diverse / LGBTIQA+

0 studies. The appropriateness of this intervention with this population has not yet been established. Therefore, we cannot confirm the applicability of this intervention to this population

Specific age groups

All studies examined the effectiveness of the intervention with young men aged 18 to 25 years.

Culturally diverse, migrant and refugee background

0 studies. The appropriateness of this intervention with this population has not yet been established. Therefore, we cannot confirm the applicability of this intervention to this population

Disability

0 studies. The appropriateness of this intervention with this population has not yet been established. Therefore, we cannot confirm the applicability of this intervention to this population

Key considerations

This section summarises factors that may contribute to study results, factors that may be considered to facilitate better outcomes, and the transferability of the intervention to an Australian context.

What do we know about the intervention in Australia?

What should Australian stakeholders consider?

The nature of the available evidence:

Implementation considerations:

Included studies

Characteristics of primary studies included in the Intervention Review
Study and location Design Intervention Sample Outcome categories
Barone et al. (2007) United States Qualitative study The Men’s Project, social norms-focused program with multimedia presentation and activities covering socialisation, rape myths, consent, empathy, privilege and oppression.
Duration and format: Ten 2-hour weekly group sessions for delivered face-to-face by a facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=19 Adult male university students, aged 18-23 years Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; behaviours
Berg et al. (1999) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Active intervention; audiotaped testimony of either female or male survivor; and control group participated in the 25-minute didactic component only
Qualitative data: No
Empathy-focused program, with a didactic presentation on facts, an audiotaped testimony of a female or male victim/survivor followed by a discussion
Duration and format: A single group session with a 25-minute presentation and 50-minute audiotape and discussion delivered face-to-face by two trained male presenters
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=54
Nexp1=19, N=exp2=18, N=comp=17
Adult male university students, mean age 19.2 years
Gender-based violence; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; wellbeing and emotions; behaviours
Berliant (2012) Canada Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Passive intervention; video based on non-sexual assault content
Qualitative data: No
Sexual assault prevention video, with short clips depicting common rape myths
Duration and format: Video delivered face-to-face in a single group session, duration not reported
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=19
Nexp=9, N=comp=11
Adult male university students, 88.9% aged 18-23 years
Gender-based violence; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; wellbeing and emotions
Boulter (1998) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Waitlist
Qualitative data: No
Socialisation-focused program, with a video followed by a discussion about rape myths, gender, norms and legal issues
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by a facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=175
Nexp=76, N=comp=99
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age 20.8 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Caver (2012) United States Single group pre-post study
Comparison: N/A
Qualitative data: Yes
Outcry, empathy-focused program, with education and discussion Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by a trained male university staff member
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=97 Adult male university students, mean age 19 years Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Choate (2003) United States Single group pre-post study
Comparison: N/A
Qualitative data: No
Men against violence model, peer-education training program with content on male socialisation, rape myths, awareness of the prevalence of sexual violence
Duration and format: A single 1-hour presentation delivered by a pair of trained male-female facilitators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=149 Adult male university fraternity members, mean age 19.7 years, 95.3% white Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; lived experience
Darlington (2014) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Active intervention; SWAT plus bystander education; and waitlist control
Qualitative data: No
Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT), social norms-focused program, with theatre presentations and exercises to educate about statistics, consent, victim blaming and survivor empathy, helping victims/survivors and resources
Duration and format: A single 45-minute face-to-face group session delivered by 5-7 peer educators with weekly 3-hour training for a year
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=197
Nexp=121, N=comp=76
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age 19.65 years, 76.2% white, 70.1% single, 47.8% had known a survivor, 29.3% had known a perpetrator
Gender-based violence; Relationships; behaviours; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Davis & Liddell (2002) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Active intervention; traditional sexual assault prevention program; and no treatment control
Qualitative data: No
Socialisation-focused program, with education about myths and facts, video, followed by a discussion to raise awareness
Duration and format: A single 90-minute group session delivered face-to-face by a facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=90
Nexp1=29, Nexp2=29, N=comp=29
Adult male university students, mean age 19.63 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Davis (1997) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Active intervention; traditional rape prevention program for men; and passive intervention for control group, video based on non-sexual assault content
Qualitative data: No
Socialisation-focused program, with education about consent and legal definitions several sitcom videos and discussion about sex-role socialisation
Duration and format: A single 90-minute group session delivered face-to-face by three trained facilitators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=90
Nexp1=30, Nexp2=30, N=comp=30
Adult male university students, mean age 19.63 years, 58.9% fraternity members
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; lived experience; behaviours
De Gue et al. (2014) Systematic review
Type of analysis: Narrative synthesis 1985-2012
Sexual assault prevention interventions
N Included studies: 140
Included research design: Randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies
Countries: Any country
Adolescents and adults, all genders Gender-based violence; Behaviours
Echols (1998) United States Quasi-experimental study with a control group
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
The Gentleman’s Agreement is, empathy-focused program, with a didactic session and group therapy-style activity
Duration and format: A single 2-hour group session delivered face-to-face by a team of 5 trained male graduate and undergraduate peer educators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=361
Nexp=164, N=comp=197
Adult male university students, mean age 18.18 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Fellmeth et al. (2013) Systematic review Type of analysis:
Meta-analysis
Not stated-2012
Sexual assault and intimate partner violence prevention educational and skills-based interventions
N Included studies: 38
Included research designs: Randomised controlled trials
Countries: Any country
Adolescents and adults, all genders Gender-based violence; Health; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Foubert & Marriott (1997) United States Quasi-experimental study with a control group
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
How to help a sexual assault survivor: What men can do, empathy-focused program, with education about sexual violence definitions, a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape and ways to help victims/survivors
Duration and format: A single group session delivered face-to-face by male peer educators, duration not reported
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=109
Nexp=73, N=comp=38
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age 18.8 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Foubert & McEwen (1998) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
How to help a sexual assault survivor: What men can do, empathy-focused program, with education about sexual violence definitions, a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape and ways to help victims/survivors
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by 4 peer educators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=155
Nexp1=50, Nexp2=59, N=comp=46
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age 19.9 years
Gender-based violence; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Foubert (2000) United States Cluster randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
How to help a sexual assault survivor: What men can do, empathy-focused program, with education about sexual violence definitions, a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape and ways to help victims/survivors
Duration and format:
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=217
Nexp=109, N=comp=108
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age 20.33 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence
Foubert & Newberry (2006) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
Intervention 1: The Men’s Program, empathy-focused program, with a video describing both females and males as victims/survivors of sexual assault, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape, ways to help victims/survivors, with an additional module on consent in alcohol-related situations
Intervention 2: The Men’s Program, empathy-focused program, with a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape, ways to help victims/survivors,, empathy-focused program, with a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape, ways to help victims/survivors,with additional modules focusing on bystander intervention in alcohol-related situations
Duration and format: A single group session delivered face-to-face by a trained facilitator, duration not reported
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=261
Adult male university students and fraternity members, mean age not reported
Gender-based violence; wellbeing and emotions; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Foubert & Perry (2007) United States Qualitative study The Men’s Program, empathy-focused program, with a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape, ways to help victims/survivors, and additional modules focusing on consent and bystander intervention in alcohol-related situations
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by trained male peer educators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=24
Adult male university students and members of varsity athletic teams or fraternities, mean age not reported
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Foubert et al. (2010) United States Qualitative study The Men’s Program, empathy-focused program, with a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape, ways to help victims/survivors, and additional modules focusing on consent and bystander intervention in alcohol-related situations
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by male undergraduate peer educators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=184
Adult male university students, aged 19-21 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; behaviours
Gidycz et al. (2011) United States Cluster randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Waitlist
Qualitative data: : No
The Men’s Program, social norms-focused program with multimedia presentation and activities covering socialisation, rape myths, consent, empathy, privilege and oppression
Duration and format: A single 1.5-hour group session and a 1-hour booster session after 4 months, delivered face-to-face by 4 undergraduate students, 2 doctoral psychology students and 2 trained male facilitators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=635
Adult male first-year university students, 98% aged 18-19 years, 91.8% white
Gender-based violence; behaviours; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Graham et al. (2021) Systematic review
Type of analysis: Narrative synthesis
Not stated-2017
Male-targeted sexual violence or intimate partner violence prevention and bystander interventions
N Included studies: 8
Included research design: Randomised controlled trials
Countries: Any country
Adolescents and adults, male only Gender-based violence
Hatcher (2009) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Waitlist
Qualitative data: : No
Empathy-focused video, with short clips discussing rape myths, testimonies of female victims/survivors and male perpetrators
Duration and format: A single 45-minute video delivered in a group session
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=45
Nexp=24, N=comp=21
Adult male university students, mean age 19.35 years, 77.5% white
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; wellbeing and emotions; relationships
Holz et al. (2018) United States Single group pre-post study
Comparison: N/A
Qualitative data: : No
Socialisation-focused program, with education on consent, definitions, video testimonies from victims/survivors and advocates
Duration and format: A single 40-minute face-to-face group session delivered by mixed gender undergraduate peer educator pairs
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=289
Adult male university students, mean age 18.5 years, 80% white
Gender-based violence; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Hudspith et al. (2021) Systematic review
Type of analysis: Narrative synthesis
Search period: 1980-2020
Sexual assault prevention educational interventions
N Included studies: 20
Included research design: Randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies
Countries: Any country
General population, all genders Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Johansson-Love & Geer (2003) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Passive intervention, video and pamphlet based on non-sexual assault content
Qualitative data: : No
Empathy-focused video, with testimonies from victims/survivors and 2 pamphlets containing statistics and information about men’s positive behaviours and myths
Duration and format: A single 22-minute video and two pamphlets delivered individually by a facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=151
Nexp=78, N=comp=73
Adult male university students, mean age 20.06 years, 84.5% white
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Liu (2010) United States Quasi-experimental study with a control group
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
Men Creating Attitudes for Rape-Free Environments (Men CARE), socialisation-focused program, with mentoring on men’s violence against women and positive roles men can play, and an activity to create a poster campaign
Duration and format: Two group workshops delivered face-to-face by male mentors including peers, administrators and faculty, duration not reported
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=803
Nexp=707, N=comp=96
Adult male university students, 63.7% fraternity members, 70.9% white , mean age not reported
Behaviours; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Lobo (2005) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Waitlist
Qualitative data: : No
Socialisation-focused program, with education about sexual assault, vignettes describing risky sexual situations and discussions about consent
Duration and format: A single 2-hour group session delivered face-to-face by a trained male graduate student
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=342
Adult male university students, 91.8% aged 18-20 years, 89.2% white
Gender-based violence; behaviours; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Northam (1997) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
Socialisation-focused presentation, with education about statistics, videos, followed by a discussion and information packet of material covered in program
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by a pair of mixed-gender peer educators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=180
Nexp=96, N=comp=84
Adult male university students, mean age 20 years
Relationships; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence
O'Donohue et al. (2003) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Active intervention; a video-based prevention program, The Date Rape Backlash
Qualitative data: : No
Empathy-based prevention video, with written scripts focused on dispelling rape myths, testimonials from victims/survivors and male perpetrators
Duration and format: A single 45-minute group session delivered in a group face-to-face
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=102
Nexp=50, N=comp=52
Adult male university students, mean age 19.7 years, 77.5% white
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence; wellbeing and emotions; behaviours
Phipps (2003) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
The Men’s Program, empathy-focused program, with education about definitions, a video describing a male-on-male-rape, followed by a discussion about consent, the effects of rape and ways to help victims/survivors
Duration and format: A single 1-hour group session delivered face-to-face by trained male peer facilitators
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=163
Adult male university students, mean age 20.33 years, 94% white , 47% dating, 23% single
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; wellbeing and emotions; relationships; gender-based violence
Raymond (2011) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Passive treatment; a program promoting alternative forms of transportation
Qualitative data: : No
Socialisation-focused program, with cognitive dissonance manipulation, and an activity to create public service announcements dispelling rape myths
Duration and format: A single group session delivered face-to-face by the researcher, duration not reported
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=61
Adult male university students, mean age 19.7 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Ruvalcaba et al. (2022) United States Systematic review
Type of analysis: Meta-analysis
Search period: Not stated-2018
Male-targeted sexual assault prevention interventions
N Included studies: 10
Included research design: Randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies
Countries: United States only
University or college students, male only (specifically male fraternity or athletic teams) Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence
Schewe & O’Donohue (1996) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: No treatment
Qualitative data: : No
Rape-supportive cognitions program, with a video, exercises and hypothetical scenarios, followed by an empathy-based behavioural task
Duration and format: A single 50-minute video shown face-to-face to a groups by a male facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=225
Adult male university students, mean age 19.7 years
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence; wellbeing and emotions
Stephens & George (2004) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Passive intervention; 30-minute video based on non-sexual assault content
Qualitative data: : No
Rethinking Rape, socialisation-focused video, with education about sexual violence, rape myths, and testimonials from victims/survivors
Duration and format: A single 28-minute video delivered face-to-face in groups by a male facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=45
Nexp=23, N=comp=22
Adult male university students, aged 18-25 years, 71.1% white
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes
Stephens (2008); Stephens & George (2009) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Passive intervention; 50-minute videos based on non-sexual assault content
Qualitative data: : No
How to help a sexual assault survivor: What men can do, empathy-focused program, with education about sexual violence definitions, a video describing a male-on-male rape, followed by a discussion about the effects of rape and ways to help victims/survivors
Duration and format: A single group session with 50-minute video presentation delivered face-to-face by a male facilitator
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=146
Nexp=83, N=comp=65
Adult male university students studying psychology , mean age 19.3 years, 100% white
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; gender-based violence; wellbeing and emotions
Stewart (2014) United States Single group pre-post study
Comparison: N/A
Qualitative data: : No
The Men’s Program, socialisation-focused program, with education about the effects of sexual assault
Duration and format: Eleven 2-hour weekly group sessions delivered face-to-face by two graduate students
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=33
Adult male university students, mean age 20.33 years, n=1 FTM trans individual, 86% same-sex attracted, 28% fraternity members
Knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; behaviours
Tarrant (1999) United States Quasi-experimental study with a control group
Comparison: An active intervention; rape prevention education program; and a no treatment control
Qualitative data: : No
Feminist-based, socialisation-focused program for men, involving interactive exercises to facilitate awareness of gender and masculinity, sexual scripts and rape, and non-consensual sexual activity
Duration and format: A single 60-minute group session delivered face-to-face by a male presenter with a sociology degree and experience presenting rape education
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=442
Adult male university students, mean age 19.71 years, 92.2% White, 80.3% fraternity members, 19.7% all-male residence hall residents
Gender-based violence; knowledge, beliefs and attitudes; behaviours
Wong et al. (2020) United States Randomised controlled trial
Comparison: Two active interventions, a social norms control condition; and a control condition focusing on a sense of belongingness
Qualitative data: : No
Self-persuasion program, with two short social norms-focused videos, and activities addressing values, consent and rape myths
Duration and format: A single 45-minute online self-directed program
Setting:Tertiary education
Cost:Not reported
N=242
Adult male university students, mean age 20.26 years, 55.2% single
Gender-based violence; behaviours; relationships
Wright et al. (2017; 2020) Systematic review
Type of analysis: Meta-analysis
Search period: 1970-2014
Male-targeted sexual assault prevention interventions
N Included studies: 38
Included research design: : Randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental studies
Countries: High-income countries only
University or college students, male only Gender-based violence

References and further reading

Included Studies


Primary studies

Systematic reviews

Additional evidence on the intervention

This list contains other evidence that was not eligible for the Intervention Review based on our selection criteria but may provide further information regarding the intervention.