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Blameworthiness: Rape Myths and Their Role in College Students’ Perspectives on Victim Blaming

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The current study examines the effects that college students' personal characteristics, such as age, sex, gender, or race/ethnicity, have on students’ perceptions of perceived victim blameworthiness. This study also examines

The current study examines the effects that college students' personal characteristics, such as age, sex, gender, or race/ethnicity, have on students’ perceptions of perceived victim blameworthiness. This study also examines how college students’ perceptions of blameworthiness change after being exposed to real life sexual assault vignettes that tap into issues surrounding rape myths. Specifically, I assess blameworthiness perceptions surrounding rape myths regarding clothing, drinking, and various situational characteristics. Blameworthiness perceptions were examined through a survey with pre-test and post-test questions that occurred before and after the student reviewed different sexual assault vignettes. Descriptive statistics show that the majority of college students, after being introduced to the vignettes, reduced their blameworthiness beliefs. Results from the regression analysis show that few individual characteristics are associated with changes in blameworthiness beliefs. Overall, these findings suggest that exposure to sexual assault vignettes have an effect on how individuals perceive victim blameworthiness.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05