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NCJ Number: 99533 Find in a Library
Title: Causal and Moral Responsibility of Victims of Rape and Robbery
Journal: Journal of Applied Social Psychology  Volume:15  Issue:7  Dated:(1985)  Pages:622-637
Author(s): S Kanekar; N J P Pinto; D Mazumdar
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Four experiments involving students of the University of Bombay (India) examined subjects' attribution of causal and moral responsibility to victims for robbery and rape.
Abstract: Victim moral responsibility for the crime pertained to actions the victim did or did not take that might have prevented the crime (e.g., dressing provocatively in the case of rape or walking alone in a high crime area in the case of robbery). Causal responsibility pertains to inherent victim characteristics that may have provoked the crime (e.g., the victim's age). The study hypothesized that the rape victim would be faulted (moral responsibility) more for the crime than the robbery victim. The 4 experimental studies. conducted in early 1980, used 240 subjects in each study. Independent variables common to all experiments were type of crime, time of crime, and victims's prior experience of crime. The variables were manipulated through the description of rapes and robberies involving male perpetrators and female victims. The dependent variable common to the four experiments was the imprisonment length recommended by the subjects. Another independent variable in the first two experiments was the subject's sex. The fourth independent variable in the last two experiments was the involvement imputed to the female subjects (as victim or objective observer). The second dependent variable in the first and third experiments was fault attributed to the victim, and in the second and fourth experiments, it was the perceived likelihood (causal responsibility) of crime. Female subjects were more punitive toward the male peretrator than male subjects, particularly in the rape case. Female subjects identifying with the victim tended to be more punitive than objective female observers, and female subjects attributed less fault to the victim and perceived greater likelihood of crime than male subjects. The robbery victim was attributed more fault than the rape victim. Tabular data and 28 references are provided.
Index Term(s): India; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Rape; Robbery; Victim crime precipitation
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