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Journal Article

Citation

Grubb A, Harrower J. Aggress. Violent Behav. 2008; 13(5): 396-405.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2008, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.avb.2008.06.006

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

This paper reviews studies exploring the effects of a variety of factors on participants' judgments of hypothetical depictions of rape within an experimental setting. The focus is on attribution of responsibility or fault to the victim or attacker and related judgments. Three aspects have been reviewed: the effect of participant gender, the type of rape depicted (stranger rape, date rape or acquaintance rape) and perceived similarity with the victim/perpetrator in line with the defensive attribution theory. There are limits to generalization due to populations studied and methods used, and the observed effects of several factors are either minimal or inconsistent. However, some factors have consistent effects on judgments. Findings indicate that men engage in victim blaming more readily than women; victims who are acquainted with their attacker tend to be assigned more responsibility for a rape; and participants who view themselves as similar to the victim attribute more blame to the perpetrator of the rape, demonstrating the effects of 'harm avoidance' and 'blame avoidance.'

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