Matching Items (2)

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What About “He Said, He Said?" The Effect of Rape Myth Acceptance and Extra-Legal Factors on Blame Attributions

Description

Many authors have shown that "real victim," "real rape," and traditional gender role stereotypes affect how people attribute blame to victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, and that jury decisions

Many authors have shown that "real victim," "real rape," and traditional gender role stereotypes affect how people attribute blame to victims and perpetrators of sexual assault, and that jury decisions in rape cases are likewise influenced by extralegal factors, such as how much the victim resisted. Most studies only focus on the acceptance of rape myths and stereotypes about female victims, while myths and stereotypes about male victims are largely ignored. It is unknown how female rape myth acceptance (FRMA) and male rape myth acceptance (MRMA) may differently affect victim and perpetrator blame attributions. Whether the juror influences the effect of extra-legal factors on rape perceptions is also unknown. Using a randomized vignette design, the current study investigates 1) the effect of rape myth acceptance and gender attitudes on victim and perpetrator blame attributions, 2) how blame attributions differ by victim gender, level of resistance, and victim-perpetrator relationship, and 3) how the juror role influences the effects of rape myth acceptance and extra-legal factors on blame attributions. Results show that FRMA and MRMA are both positively associated with victim blame and negatively associated with perpetrator blame, that male victims are blamed more than female victims, and that jury membership does not influence the effect of extra-legal factors on blame attributions. Victim resistance and victim-perpetrator relationship also affected rape perceptions in unexpected ways. Implications for rape prevention programing, police and prosecutor decision-making, and jury selection are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Examining Perceptions of Sex Offenders as Influenced by Gender Variations and Rape Myth Acceptance

Description

While there is a good amount of research focused on sex offenders as a whole, only a limited number of studies examine variations within these offenders, how people view the

While there is a good amount of research focused on sex offenders as a whole, only a limited number of studies examine variations within these offenders, how people view the variations, and why their opinions may differ. This study focuses on the interconnections among gender norms, rape myth acceptance, and the perception of sex offenders by administering an online student survey. The survey measured rape myth acceptance and adherence to traditional gender roles to see how they affected perceptions of sex offenders. Perceptions were measured using vignettes that were varied by gender and the situation described. Results showed that higher rape myth acceptance would decrease the blameworthiness of the offender, that the offender was seen as more blameworthy when the offender was a male, and that women tended to see the offender as more blameworthy than men did. The type of sexual situation did not have an impact on blameworthiness, nor did adherence to gender roles. The findings support past research that suggests that rape myth acceptance can impact people’s opinions about offenders in sexual situations and specifically that these opinions differ depending on the gender of the offender. With some offenders being viewed as more blameworthy than others, it is necessary to examine sex offense laws to see how they may disproportionately affect some offenders and implement harsher punishments than the public may deem necessary.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018