Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #329
Cultural Contingencies and Perceptions of Sexual Behavior
Sunday, May 27, 2018
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom G
Area: CSS/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Barbara Gross (Empowered: A Center for Sexuality)
Discussant: Worner Leland (Upswing Advocates)
Abstract: Perceptions of sexuality and gender identity, as well as value judgements about sexuality and gender identity are a culturally selected behavior. The impact of public perception and verbal communities on shaping ontogenic behavioral repertoires is an important behavioral phenomenon. This symposium presents data on the impact of behavioral education involving LGBTQ issues on self-reports of individual behavior, and on cultural contingencies maintaining misogyny and rape culture. Presenters will discuss resulting data and their implications as applicable, and will discuss recommendations for future research, instruction, and applied projects.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): gender identity, LGBTQ, rape culture, sexuality

Boys Will Be Boys: A Behavioral Account of Rape Culture

(Service Delivery)
JANANI VAIDYA (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

The likelihood of abusers being punished when incidents of rape or sexual assault are reported is less than desired. Behaviors that could be considered precursors to sexual assault, such as are often dismissed as genetic, attention-maintained, or "inherent." Outdated gender roles that can be harmful to cisgender men are also selected and reinforced across generations. Morality culture dictates that rape is the result of the behavior of victims, not their abusers. Often, victims experience feelings of guilt or shame, and these covert behaviors are reinforced by their verbal community. This can lead to victims not reporting their assault, or the latency between the occurrence and reporting of the incident being quite long. Meanwhile the likelihood of aversive consequences for a perpetrator is quite less, if any at all. This talk will examine how behavior analysts can teach our clients about the patterns of this cultural phenomenon in order to influence how people view abusers and victims, potentially leading to systemic change in behavior.

The Effects of LGBTQ Variability Education on Self Reports and Tolerance Related Behaviors
(Applied Research)
YASH BHAMBHANI (University of Mississippi), Karen Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Lainy Day (University of Mississippi ), Jaime Harker (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: LGBTQ+ individuals are facing new challenges, and there exists significant stigma in the South for individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. Is there a way that we could incorporate teaching acceptance of sexual and gender diversity in undergraduate classes to influence citizens to be more tolerant? In this experiment, professors at a large Southern university from Biology, English, and Gender Studies departments collaborated and in their classes, focused on normalizing variable or marginalized sexual preference or gender identity, and discussed these variations as naturally occurring phenomena, from their own theoretical background. Students were asked to fill out survey questionnaires at three time points in the semester, to indicate verbal reports of pro-LGBTQ+ and tolerant behavior. Thirty-one students provided data at two or more time points and were included in the statistical analysis. Results showed that there were marked ceiling effects – many students showed behaviors and attitudes that were consistent with being pro-LGBTQ+ at all three time points. Results of the study will be discussed in their cultural context.



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