This research was supported by NIMH Grant MH40894. Portions of this research were presented at the meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Miami, Florida, March 1988.
Attributing Responsibility to Female Victims After Exposure to Sexually Violent Films1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 27, Issue 24, pages 2149–2171, December 1997
How to Cite
Dexter, H. R., Penrod, S., Linz, D. and Saunders, D. (1997), Attributing Responsibility to Female Victims After Exposure to Sexually Violent Films. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27: 2149–2171. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1997.tb01645.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
We investigate the possibility that the degree to which female abuse victims are held accountable by other women who have been exposed to sexually violent mass media is primarily dependent upon 3 factors: situational relevance, personal similarity, and emotional arousal. Female subjects participated in an experiment. Factors were: film dose; film viewing/victim judgment time interval; victim-subject similarity; and situational relevance of the assault. The results showed less attribution of responsibility to similar victims and high attributions of responsibility to dissimilar victims in the personally relevant assault situation (rape). Women identified least with dissimilar rape victims and most with similar victims when they had not been desensitized. When subjects were desensitized, the defensive attribution effect failed to emerge. There was also a significant tendency among low film dose subjects to perceive more psychological injury and to attribute more distress to the victim than among high film dose subjects.