Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale - Short Form (IRMA-SF)

The Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale – Short Form (IRMA-SF) is an abbreviated version of the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale. It contains 20 items and has seven subscales aimed at understanding attitudes and beliefs around sexual assault: she asked for it (SA), it wasn't really rape (NR), he didn't mean to (MT), she wanted it (WI), she lied (LI), rape is a trivial event (TE), and rape is a deviant event (DE). IRMA-SF can be used to assess general rape myth acceptance but not its specific components.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1. (SA-3) If a woman is raped while she is drunk, she is at least somewhat responsible for letting things get out of control
2. (WI-5) Although most women wouldn’t admit it, they generally find being physically forced into sex a real ‘‘turn-on”
3. (TE-5) If a woman is willing to ‘‘make out’’ with a guy, then it’s no big deal if he goes a little further and has sex
4. (WI-1) Many women secretly desire to be raped
5. (FI-2) Most rapists are not caught by the police
6. (NR-1) If a woman doesn’t physically fight back, you can’t really say that it was rape
7. (DE-2) Men from nice middle-class homes almost never rape
8. (LI-2) Rape accusations are often used as a way of getting back at men
9. (FI-3*) All women should have access to self-defense classes
10. (DE-3) It is usually only women who dress suggestively that are raped
11. (NR-3) If the rapist doesn’t have a weapon, you really can’t call it a rape
12. (DE-7) Rape is unlikely to happen in the woman’s own familiar neighborhood
13. (TE-2) Women tend to exaggerate how much rape affects them
14. (LI-1) A lot of women lead a man on and then they cry rape
15. (FI-4*) It is preferable that a female police officer conduct the questioning when a woman reports a rape
16. (SA-5) A woman who ‘‘teases’’ men deserves anything that might happen
17. (SA-8) When women are raped, it’s often because the way they said ‘‘no’’ was ambiguous
18. (MT-1) Men don’t usually intend to force sex on a woman, but sometimes they get too sexually carried away
19. (SA-1) A woman who dresses in skimpy clothes should not be surprised if a man tries to force her to have sex
20. (MT-4) Rape happens when a man’s sex drive gets out of control

*FI=Filler Item. These ‘‘filler items’’ are included to minimize the potential for response bias and are therefore discarded before conducting any statistical analysis. They do not contribute to the total scale value.

Response options:
Respondents were asked to rate their level of agreement using a 7-point Likert scale ranging from 1 = "not at all agree" to 7 = "very much agree.”
Scores to the Filler Items are not counted towards to total scale value.

Scoring Procedures

Not Available

Original Citation

Payne, D. L., Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1999). Rape Myth Acceptance: Exploration of Its Structure and Its Measurement Using the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 33(1), 27-68.

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Formative Research

Qualitative Research

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