ERIC Number: ED206979
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb-26
Reference Count: 0
Rape: The Role of Societal Norms and the Psychological Need for Control in the Attribution of Blame.
Howard, Judith A.
Attribution theory research has been criticized for minimizing the influences of social structure variables on individuals. The role of social factors in attributions was explored with 90 females and 50 males who, after reading interviews between police and assault victims, made attributions of blame about different types of assault. The influences of victim gender, respondent gender, type of assault (rape vs. robbery) and situation (hitchhiking vs. jogging) on respondent attributions of blame for an assault were examined. Attributions to the assailant, the victim, social factors, and fate were assessed. Respondents blamed female more than male victims, victims of robbery more than victims of rape, and victims attacked while hitchhiking more than victims attacked while jogging. Interaction effects consistent with stereotypes about "appropriate" gender-related behaviors were also obtained. Examination of subjects' perceptions about the role of social factors in causing rape and robbery suggested that robbery was perceived as more deeply embedded in the social context than was rape. Social norms about appropriate behaviors for women and men and the social stereotypes about females and males were powerful guides to attributions of blame for several types of victimization. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Women in Psychology (8th, Boston, MA, March 5-8, 1981).