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NCJ Number: 94341 Find in a Library
Title: Influence of a Rape Victim's Physical Attractiveness on Observers' Attributions of Responsibility
Journal: Human Relations  Volume:36  Issue:6  Dated:(1983)  Pages:549-562
Author(s): B Thornton; R M Ryckman
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 13
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examines the impact of a rape victim's physical attractiveness on observers' attributions of responsibility.
Abstract: A group of 64 male and 60 female students read an account of a sexual attack against either an attractive or an unattractive young woman. They then responded to a questionnaire. The results produced evidence of an attractiveness bias among observers, with an unattractive victim being assigned greater responsibility in general for her own victimization, as well as specific behavioral and characterological blame, than an attractive victim. The unattractive victim also elicited the opinion that she contributed to her assault by presenting a more provocative appearance than her more attractive counterpart. These biases were stronger for male observers than for females. Although the attractiveness factor differentially influenced the perceived responsibility of a victim, it did not affect attributions toward the assailant. One table, 5 notes, and 31 references are provided. (Author abstract modified).
Index Term(s): Attribution theory; Rape; Sexual assault victims; Victim crime precipitation
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