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Expectations about victim and offender behaviour during stranger rape

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The aim of this study was to examine expectations about victim and offender behaviours during stranger rape. These expectations were compared with the empirically derived data of actual victim and offender behaviours. Furthermore, three attitudes/beliefs were assessed in relation to these expectations: rape myth acceptance, gender role attitudes and belief in a just world (BJW). Seven hundred and fifty-eight undergraduates took part in the study. The results show that participants significantly overestimated the frequency of 29 out of the 30 victim and offender behaviours examined (one behaviour was underestimated). An inconsistent relationship was found in predicting the expectancies via rape myth acceptance, gender role attitudes and BJW. These findings are examined in the context of the criminal justice system and how expectancy violation may affect the perception of rape victim and offenders' behaviours.
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Keywords: belief in a just world; expectancy violation theory; gender role attitudes; rape myths

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK 2: School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK

Publication date: September 14, 2014

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