Requests for reprints should be sent to Judith E. Krulewitz, Department of Psychology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011. The authors thank Arnold Kahn, Harry Lando, and C. Peter Herman for their helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper.
Effects of rape victim resistance, assault outcome, and sex of observer on attributions about rape
Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
Journal of Personality
Volume 47, Issue 4, pages 557–574, December 1979
How to Cite
Krulewitz, J. E. and Nash, J. E. (1979), Effects of rape victim resistance, assault outcome, and sex of observer on attributions about rape. Journal of Personality, 47: 557–574. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1979.tb00209.x
- Issue published online: 28 APR 2006
- Article first published online: 28 APR 2006
- Manuscript received February 6, 1978
Perceptions of sexual assault were investigated as a function of sex of observer, nature of victim resistance, and assault outcome. Two hundred twenty-nine subjects were randomly assigned by sex to six resistance × outcome conditions. Hypotheses that women and men apply sex-role stereotypes in evaluating the rape situation were supported: (a) subjects were more certain that rape had occurred as the victim resisted more; (b) subjects attributed greater responsibility to the victim for completed than for attempted rape, while the reverse pattern was found for the assailant; (c) women attributed more responsibility to the assailant than did men; and (d) men attributed less fault and more intelligence, and women attributed more fault and less intelligence to the rape victim as she resisted more forcefully. Attributional terms; fault, blame, and responsibility were found not to be interchangeable. Rape attributions are discussed within the contexts of identification with victim's situation and perceptions of victim's control. Implications for choice of self-defense strategy and treatment of rape victims are also considered.