PROGRAMS & TOOLS

PREVENTION
PROGRAMMING MATRIX

RealConsent

RealConsent is an online training program for sexual assault prevention that is aimed at educating college-aged men. The program is modeled after Alan Berkowitz’s Men’s Workshop. It was converted to an online format and evaluated through a CDC-funded initiative.

Authors
Laura Salazar, Judy Kaufman & Alan Berkowitz
Program Name Level of Evidence Format Target Audience Special Features
RealConsent
Supported By Evidence
  • Online Course
  • Undergraduate students
This program is for male-identified students.
Learning Objectives
  • increase self-reported prosocial intervening behaviors  
  • decrease incidence of sexual violence perpetration among participants
  • increase knowledge of and skills for: safely intervening in situations when sexual violence may occur; correcting misperceptions in normative beliefs; and, affecting negative attitudes toward date rape
  • increase knowledge of: the elements constituting effective consent for sex; affecting masculine gender roles; enhancing communication skills; and, increasing empathy for victims of sexual assault
Methods

The modules communicate key themes using: definitions, scenarios, survivor stories portrayed by actors, expert testimony, advice from peers, and interactive quizzes and games. There are also scenarios that ask the student to decide whether informed consent is possible, after providing guidelines for what constitutes consent. Throughout the program, scripted scenes with a group of male friends help address key topics including: knowledge of informed consent, communication skills regarding sex, the role of alcohol and male socialization in sexual violence, empathy for rape victims, and bystander education.

Dosage

Six 30-minute modules

Population Served

Male undergraduate students

Theoretical Basis For Approach

The content for RealConsent was based on several complementary theoretical frameworks: social cognitive theory, social norms theory, and the bystander educational model.  The program was based of Dr. Alan Berkowitz’s Men’s Workshop (LINK) that has demonstrated efficacy in rigorous evaluation.

Program Effectiveness

One evaluation study of the RealConsent was published in a peer-reviewed journal, demonstrating significant improvement on both primary outcome measures (prosocial bystander behavior and sexual perpetration). The evaluation also measured 12 mediating outcomes. The study demonstrated significant effects on all but one mediator (self-efficacy).  

PARTICIPATING COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES

RealConsent is still in its beta-testing phase and is not in use by any schools.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR ADMINIsTRATORS

While the program’s strength is that it speaks to a specific audience that is at high risk for perpetration of assault, it’s tone and content may not resonate with all college-aged men. This is especially true for queer, gay or gender-nonconforming students, but may also be relevant for men who do not identify with the actors portrayed in RealConsent.

HOW TO ACCESS THIS PROGRAM

The original program has recently been revised. Researchers are beta-testing the revised version. To find out how to participate in beta-testing, contact Dr. Laura Salazar at lsalazar1@gsu.edu. The program will be commercially available soon.

Sources

Salazar, L.F., Vivolo-Kantor, A.V., Hardin, J. & Berkowitz, A. A. (2014). Web-based Sexual Violence Bystander Intervention for Male College Students: Randomized Control Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16 (9): 1-16. doi:10.2196/jmir.3426