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Keywords:

  • Education, medical, undergraduate;
  • focus groups;
  • Great Britain;
  • group structure;
  • self-evaluation programmes

Objectives

To examine the rape attitudes of a sample of 252 British medical students.

Design

A 20-item questionnaire was used.

Setting

A London medical school.

Subjects

Fourth-year medical students.

Results

In general, students were well informed on legal and factual issues regarding rape and sexual assault. However, significant differences were found in the attitudes to rape between males and females. Female students were significantly more positive in their responses to victims.

Conclusions

These results support findings from previous studies of rape attitudes in other professional groups. Better knowledge and enlightened attitudes amongst health care staff can have a significant impact on the management of sexual assault and influence the likelihood of victims presenting for treatment. In conclusion, this study emphasizes the importance of teaching about sexual violence in British medical schools.