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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93623 Find in a Library
Title: Social Perception of the Rape Victim's Culpability - The Influence of Respondents' Personal-Environmental Causal Attribution Tendencies
Journal: Human Relations  Volume:34  Issue:3  Dated:(1981)  Pages:225-237
Author(s): B Thornton; M A Robbins; J A Johnson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study investigated the influence of individual differences in attributional tendencies on the perception of a rape victim's causal role in her own victimization.
Abstract: Respondents' general tendency to attribute cause of events in another person's life to either personal, internal reasons or external, environmental ones was assessed, as were their attitudes to a variety of items on the subject of rape. Factor analysis of the rape questionnaire produced four factors: victim precipitation-responsibility, negative evaluation, sexual motivation, and power motivation. With the victim precipitation-responsibility factor serving as a measure of attributed responsibility, a factorial design was created with sex of subject and attributional propensity serving as independent measures. Males perceived significantly greater precipitation-responsibility on the part of a rape victim than did female respondents. There was also a significant overall trend for attributional orientation, with 'personals' indicating greater victim responsibility than that expressed by 'environmentals.' This effect was particularly evident among male subjects, while females did not significantly differ among themselves. Neither attributional nor sex differences were apparent in analyses of the evaluative or motivational factors. Tables and 28 references are supplied. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Rape; Sexual assault victims; Victim crime precipitation; Victim reactions to crime
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