Effects of victim gender, victim sexual orientation, victim response and respondent gender on judgements of blame in a hypothetical adolescent rape
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2009 The British Psychological Society
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 331–338, September 2009
How to Cite
Davies, M., Rogers, P. and Whitelegg, L. (2009), Effects of victim gender, victim sexual orientation, victim response and respondent gender on judgements of blame in a hypothetical adolescent rape. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 14: 331–338. doi: 10.1348/978185408X386030
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Received 27 March 2008; revised version received 10 October 2008
Objectives. Few studies have examined the judgements made towards adolescent rape victims, and none have investigated attributions towards gay male or lesbian adolescents. The current study examined the effects victim gender, victim sexual orientation, victim response, and respondent gender, on attributions of blame in the depicted rape of a 15-year old adolescent.
Methods. A total of 164 respondents read details of this assault before completing 15 attribution judgments.
Results. Respondents were expected to attribute more blame to a victim who was male, gay, and who failed to resist the perpetrator. Male respondents were also expected to be more blaming of the victim than females. Overall these hypotheses were supported.
Conclusion. Results are discussed in relation to the role gender stereotypes and homophobia play within attributions blame in sexual assault cases. Specifically, it seems male adolescent rape victims are subjected to the same negative stereotypes as male adult victims. Implications and ideas for future research are considered.