ERIC Number: ED299502
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Defensive Attributions of Rape When the Victim is Male Versus Female.
Lubomski, Lisa; And Others
Shaver's Defensive Attribution concept suggests that subjects who perceive themselves as similar to a rape victim attribute less responsibility to the victim, thus protecting themselves against blame should they ever be victims. Studies have supported this interpretation for females, but have reported difficulty interpreting the responses of males. This study extended previous research by including males as victims. It was hypothesized that subjects would attribute the least responsibility for the rape to victims who were most similar to them both in terms of sex and in terms of age and status. The study involved 80 female and 80 male undergraduates in a 2 (sex of subject) x 2 (sex of victim) x 2 (age and status similarity of victim to subject) design. Subjects read a brief description of a sexual assault where the victim was identified as male or female, and as either a 21-year-old college student or a 45-year-old recovering alcoholic. Subjects then rated the victim and the perpetrator on issues of blame. The results revealed a significant main effect for subject age and status similarity on the measure of subject's perceived similarity to the victim, a significant main effect for subject's sex, and a significant two-way interaction between these factors. Female subjects with highly similar victims saw victims as most like themselves. The defensive attribution theory received partial support from the data. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (68th, Burlingame, CA, April 28-May 1, 1988).