skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 162805 Find in a Library
Title: Victim Characteristics Influencing Attributions of Responsibility to Rape Victims: A Meta-Analysis
Journal: Aggression and Violent Behavior  Volume:1  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1996)  Pages:81-95
Author(s): M A Whatley
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A meta-analysis was conducted to examine the tendency to hold female victims of rape partly responsible for the attack and determine the responsibility that third-party observers assign to a female rape victim, as well as the variables that moderate the tendency to blame the victim.
Abstract: The studies examined represented coverage of the experimental rape studies from the year 1973, when experimental approaches to analyzing the variables thought to increase rape victim blame began to appear, through 1995. The studies do not include the research dealing with actual rape victims and their experiences. The analysis focused on how revealing the victim's clothing was (8 studies), the victim's character (20 studies), the victim's physical attractiveness (14 studies), and the victim's acquaintance with her attacker (14 studies). Results revealed that how revealing the victim's clothing was and the victim's character significantly affected the tendency to blame the victim. A rape victim in revealing clothing was held more responsible than a victim dressed otherwise, and a less respectable rape victim was held more responsible than a victim with good character. Results failed to clarify the inconsistencies in the literature regarding the effect of the victim's physical attractiveness and the victim acquaintance. Tables and 92 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Sexual assault victims
Index Term(s): Female victims; Public Opinion of Crime; Victim attitudes; Victim crime precipitation; Victim resistance to attack; Victim-offender relationships
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.