Blame attribution as a moderator of perceptions of sexual orientation-based hate crimes.
ABSTRACT Blame attribution is a valuable mechanism explaining decision making. However, present literature mainly employs blame attribution as a dependent variable. The shortcoming of this fact is that blame attribution offers a potentially valuable explanatory mechanism for decision making. The authors designed two studies to investigate blame attribution as a moderator of sentencing decisions in sexual orientation-based hate crimes. Study 1 showed that mock jurors punished perpetrators of hate crimes more severely than a control condition. Also, degree of victim blame influenced punitive decision making. In Study 2, mock jurors extended findings that perpetrators of hate crimes are more harshly punished than those of other types of crimes. Victim and perpetrator blame failed to moderate decision making in this more complex scenario. Results are discussed in relation to hate crimes definitions and attribution theory.
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ABSTRACT: The present study investigates victim sexual orientation in a sample of 641 violent crime victims seeking emergency medical treatment at a public-sector hospital. Victim sexual orientation was examined as it: (a) varies by type of violent crime and demographic characteristics, (b) directly relates to psychological symptoms, and (c) moderates the relationship between victim and crime characteristics (i.e., victim gender, victim trauma history, and type of crime) and psychological symptoms (i.e., symptoms of acute stress, depression, panic, and general anxiety). Results showed that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) victims were more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Heterosexual victims were more likely to be victims of general assault and shootings. LGBT victims demonstrated significantly higher levels of acute stress and general anxiety. Moreover, victim sexual orientation moderated the association of type of crime with experience of panic symptoms. Also, victim sexual orientation moderated the relation of victim trauma history and general anxiety symptoms. Results are discussed in relation to victimization prevalence rates, sexual prejudice theory, and assessment and treatment of violent crime victims.Law and Human Behavior 04/2012; 36(2):87-95. · 2.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We examined blame attribution as a moderator of perceptions of hate crimes against gay, African American, and transgender victims. Participants were 510 Texas jury panel members. Results of vignette-based crime scenarios showed that victim blame displayed significant negative, and perpetrator blame significant positive, effects on sentencing recommendations. Also as hypothesized, victim and perpetrator blame moderated the effect of support for hate crime legislation. Interaction patterns suggested that both types of blame attribution influence sentencing recommendations, but only for participants disagreeing with hate crime legislation. Three-way interactions with victim type also emerged, indicating that the effects of both types of blame attribution show particular influences when the victim is gay, as opposed to transgender or African American. Implications for attribution theory, hate crime policy, and jury selection are discussed.International Journal of Law and Psychiatry 11/2014; · 1.19 Impact Factor