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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 193649 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of Victim Gender and Sexual Orientation on Judgements of the Victim in a Depicted Stranger Rape
Journal: Violence and Victims  Volume:16  Issue:6  Dated:December 2001  Pages:607-619
Author(s): Michelle Davies; Paul Pollard; John Archer
Date Published: December 2001
Page Count: 13
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the impact of respondent gender, victim gender, and victim sexual orientation on judgments toward the victim of a depicted stranger rape.
Abstract: The hypotheses were that male respondents would make more negative judgments toward the male victims than female respondents would; judgments toward the gay male victim would be more negative than those toward the heterosexual male victim; and the heterosexual female victim would be judged more negatively than the lesbian victim. Two hundred and forty questionnaire booklets were distributed to psychology undergraduate students entering lecture halls and computer areas. The questionnaire booklet was designed for the purpose of this study and the variables manipulated were respondent gender, victim gender, and the sexual orientation of the victim (heterosexual or homosexual). Results showed that overall, anti-victim judgments by both male and female respondents were low, irrespective of the victim’s gender or sexual orientation. The low blame found in this study was not unusual as many studies had observed low victim blame regardless of respondent gender or circumstances of the rape--particularly those depicting stranger rapes. However, male respondents were generally more negative toward victims than female respondents were. Female respondents’ judgments were very pro-victim and did not differ with victim gender or sexual orientation. Male victims were judged more negatively than female victims were but only by male respondents. Although they were more negative toward male victims than female victims overall, male respondents were considerably more negative toward the gay male victim than they were toward all the other victims. Judgments toward the lesbian victims were not as negative as those of the gay male victims. Future studies need to investigate how perceptions of blame toward victims are developed and how victim blame can be reduced so that all victims, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, can come forward to receive the help that they need without feeling that they will be ridiculed or blamed for their assault. 5 tables, 24 references, appendix
Main Term(s): Homosexuality; Male rape victims; Rape research
Index Term(s): Discrimination against homosexuals; Personal crime victims; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Societal reactions to crime; Victims of Crime
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