ATTITUDES TOWARDS RAPE VICTIMS: EFFECTS OF VICTIM STATUS, SEX OF VICTIM, AND SEX OF RATER

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Abstract:

Attitudes towards rape victims were investigated as a function of the rater's sex, the rated individual's sex, and victim versus non-victim status. Student subjects (72 male, 72 female) were given a disguised questionnaire, and required to rate a profiled person (John' or `Carol on 12 evaluative traits (both positive and negative) using a 7-point scale, under male profile/female profile and victim/non-victim conditions. The subjects also rated themselves on 60 sex role traits, using the Bem Sex Role Inventory. Finally, they indicated briefly their perception of the major influence controlling the rated individual's life situation. The results showed three main trends: (1) a `sympathy effect' (i.e. more positive rating of the profiled person) occurred for female victims, with both male and female raters; (2) masculine and undifferentiated raters showed a sympathy effect whereas feminine and androgynous subjects did not; (3) victims were attributed an internal locus of causality significantly more often than were non-victims, especially by male raters.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1989.17.1.1

Publication date: January 1, 1989

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