19 June 2018
Psychology can help people one person at a time, but it also holds the promise of changing society at a mass scale, through campaigns to change attitudes and behaviour.
One such endeavour is the development of programmes to reduce the rates of sexual assault of women on university campuses.
But in a literature review in Aggression and Violent Behavior, researchers from the University of California make the case that such programmes may not just be ineffective, but counterproductive.
In 2013 the US passed its Violence Against Women Act; in response most US university campuses launched programmes that aimed to reduce sexual assault by raising awareness, changing attitudes and behaviours and encouraging bystanders to take a stand.