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Clergy's Attitudes and Attributions of Blame Toward Female Rape Victims

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Abstract

Th authors investigated clergy's attitudes toward rape victims by using the Attitudes toward Rape Victims Scale and three rape scenarios (marital, date, and acquaintance). Clergy's sexism and religious fundamentalism were also measured. Results indicated that the more fundamentalist and sexist the clergy were, the more negative their attitudes toward rape victims. Qualitative analyses demonstrated that clergy take into account the woman's resistance, provocative behavior, decision making, marital role, and unusual behaviorwhen assigning responsibility for rape. The results indicated that most clergy blame the victimand adhere to rape myths; therefore, they need to be more educated about sexual assault.

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... Although religion's role in endorsement of hookup culture and rape myth acceptance is yet to be fully parsed out, the role of rape myth acceptance on perceptions of sexual assault are much less ambiguous (Franiuk et al., 2008;Hockett et al., 2016;Sleath & Bull, 2010). For example, several studies have found that when rape myth acceptance is high, perceptions of rape victims are negatively impacted (Jenkins & Dambrot, 1987;Krahe, 1988;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Stormo et al., 1997). Moreover, Sheldon and Parent (2002) found that most clergy in their study adhered to rape myths, and that the more fundamentalist and sexist the clergy were, the more negative their perceptions of the victims (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). ...
... For example, several studies have found that when rape myth acceptance is high, perceptions of rape victims are negatively impacted (Jenkins & Dambrot, 1987;Krahe, 1988;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Stormo et al., 1997). Moreover, Sheldon and Parent (2002) found that most clergy in their study adhered to rape myths, and that the more fundamentalist and sexist the clergy were, the more negative their perceptions of the victims (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Some research has examined the role of political affiliation and perceptions of sexual misconduct, and one recent study compared findings over time to conclude that there may be a widening partisan gap (Conroy, 2019). ...
... For example, several studies have found that when rape myth acceptance is high, perceptions of rape victims are negatively impacted (Jenkins & Dambrot, 1987;Krahe, 1988;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Stormo et al., 1997). Moreover, Sheldon and Parent (2002) found that most clergy in their study adhered to rape myths, and that the more fundamentalist and sexist the clergy were, the more negative their perceptions of the victims (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Some research has examined the role of political affiliation and perceptions of sexual misconduct, and one recent study compared findings over time to conclude that there may be a widening partisan gap (Conroy, 2019). ...
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The recent #MeToo movement empowered female sexual harassment and assault victims to publicly share their stories, using social media as the primary platform. Though the goals of the movement included de-stigmatization and support for victims, the discourse that followed often resulted in highly varied responses to reported incidents. In this study, we examined American adult (n = 512) perceptions about #MeToo and whether gender and ideological beliefs, including sexism, religiosity, and political affiliation, as well as pre-allegation likability of the alleged perpetrator, influenced respondents’ assessments of the incidents. We focused our examination on two very different, high-profile examples of sexual misconduct allegations, specifically against film producer Harvey Weinstein and comedian Aziz Ansari. We found that personal characteristics of respondents related to individuals’ negative assessments of alleged sexual assault perpetrators. Regression analyses showed that higher age and stronger beliefs that sexism exists in our culture predicted harsher judgments of Weinstein, but stronger beliefs that sexism exists in our culture, male gender, lower levels of pre-allegation favorability for Ansari, and higher levels of social religiosity predicted harsher judgments of Ansari. Practical implications of these disparate findings are discussed.
... To understand why victims are blamed for their bad luck, one needs to study the motives behind victim blaming. Research investigating such motives found that individuals tend to blame victims more strongly when they hold a fundamentalistic religious worldview (Sheldon & Parent, 2002), or a conservative attitude (Lambert & Raichle, 2000;Williams, 1984). Extending this line of research, Niemi and Young (2016) have shown that increased endorsement of so-called binding moral values such as loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity is associated with victim blaming. ...
... Interestingly, these factors are related to victim blaming as well. That is, previous research found that individuals tend to blame victims more strongly when they believe in a just world (e.g., Strömwall et al., 2013; Van den Bos & Maas, 2009), hold a fundamentalistic religious worldview (Sheldon & Parent, 2002), and a conservative attitude (Lambert & Raichle, 2000;Williams, 1984). In Study 3, in addition to victim blaming and belief in free will, we also assessed other related beliefs (i.e., dualism and determinism), belief in a just world, religious worldviews, and political ideology (i.e., conservatism vs. liberalism). ...
... Past research on studying psychological motives behind victim blaming indicated that fundamentalistic religious worldviews (Sheldon & Parent, 2002), a conservatism attitude (Lambert & Raichle, 2000;Williams, 1984), and just world beliefs (e.g., Strömwall et al., 2013;Van den Bos & Maas, 2009) contribute to victim blaming. In Study 3, we replicated these findings-a fact noteworthy in light of the current debate on the crises of confidence in psychological science (e.g., Genschow, Westfal, et al., 2020;Open Science Collaboration, 2015). ...
Article
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The more people believe in free will, the harsher their punishment of criminal offenders. A reason for this finding is that belief in free will leads individuals to perceive others as responsible for their behavior. While research supporting this notion has mainly focused on criminal offenders, the perspective of the victims has been neglected so far. We filled this gap and hypothesized that individuals’ belief in free will is positively correlated with victim blaming—the tendency to make victims responsible for their bad luck. In three studies, we found that the more individuals believe in free will, the more they blame victims. Study 3 revealed that belief in free will is correlated with victim blaming even when controlling for just world beliefs, religious worldviews, and political ideology. The results contribute to a more differentiated view of the role of free will beliefs and attributed intentions.
... These popular societal conceptions of marital rape seem to be what has transcended into the legal acceptance of the impossibility of rape in the marriage definition existing till date. The societal perception of the category of women who are raped as single women and with some particular characteristics such as being promiscuous (Sheldon & Parent, 2002) makes it very difficult for women in marriage to identify their experience as rape. ...
... With these perceptions, rape in marriage, is not a violation of a wife's right (Ferro, Cermele & Saltzman, 2008). Even where people correctly label a sexual act as marital rape, they are still hesitant to believe that the act is a violation of the wife's rights because the perpetrator is someone with whom she has had consensual sex in the past (Munge et al, 2007;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Soothill and Walby (1991) affirm this, asserting that stranger rape which is the most often perpetrated compared to marital rape is perceived as more serious than forced sex in marriage. ...
... Gender as defined by Hawkesworth (1997) Research on rape in marriage show there exist a greater discrepancy in the perceptions of males and females to rape in marriage. Males are identified to consistently demonstrate stronger endorsement of rape myths such as blaming the victim than females (Auster & Leone, 2001;Basile, 2002;Ewoldt, et al, 2000;Nagel, Matsuo, McIntyre, & Morrison, 2005;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Females have also been found to be more likely than males to believe that marital rape is no different than rape occurring in other victim-offender relationships (Auster & Leone). ...
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ABSTRACT This study ascertained perceptions on forced sex in marriage in six communities in the Cape Coast Metropolis’ of Ghana. Themes explored include the respondents’ perception on sexual rights in marriage; the category of persons who experience forced sex in marriage; factors that lead to forced sex in marriage; how to deal with forced sex in marriage and the construction of sexuality in the metropolis. In all a total of 27 male and female respondents irrespective of marital status and educational background were used. Out of this, 20 were conveniently selected while the remaining 7 representing opinion leaders were purposely selected to respond to items on construction of sexuality. There were also 3 focus group discussions comprising of an all male, all female and mixed sex groups. The study adopted African feminist Sylvia Tamale’s argument on the construction of sexuality as its theoretical underpinnings while inductive analysis and creative synthesis was used to analyze responses. The study clearly showed that the issue of forced sex in marriage which became a debate in Ghana and subsequently taken out while the Domestic Violence (DV) Act of Ghana exists and is recognized by all, though its occurrence is not reported. The study further ascertained the construction of sexuality which gives differential sexual roles to males and females in the community creating the overall status of these two groups on sex, contribute to the issue of non-reporting of forced sex in marriage. The study therefore recommended the enactment of specific laws to be passed towards dealing with forced sex in marriage.
... The study by Sheldon and Parent (2002) appears to be the only investigation to specifically assess clergy attitudes toward female rape victims. Of the responders in the sample, 75% had dealt directly with sexual assault victims. ...
... The present study attempted to replicate and extend the research conducted by Sheldon and Parent (2002). Although that publication was the first to look at clergy perceptions of sexual assault victimization, there were several limitations that the present study sought to overcome. ...
... Although that publication was the first to look at clergy perceptions of sexual assault victimization, there were several limitations that the present study sought to overcome. One such limitation was the measure of religious fundamentalism in the Sheldon and Parent (2002) study. Subjects were asked the question, "If fundamentalism is defined as religious beliefs based on a literal interpretation of the Bible, how would you describe your religious beliefs?" Participants then responded using a 5-point scale, ranging from 1 (not fundamental at all) to 5 (extremely fundamental). ...
Article
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Although congregants often turn to clergy for help in dealing with personal difficulties, including marital problems, substance abuse issues, and mental illness, survivors of sexual assault do not commonly turn to clergy for support or guidance. This study utilized a mixed-methods approach, online survey, and semi-structured interviews to determine how clergy perceive sexual assault victimization. The results of this study showed that more blame was assigned to the victim as the relationship with the perpetrator became closer, with the exception of marital rape. This study also found that hostile sexism was a predictor of negative attitudes toward rape victims.
... In the literature on the subject, there is a little research on the relationship between attitudes toward rape victims and the depth of religious commitment or religious beliefs. However, in one of the few studies by Sheldon and Parent (2002) it was found that those who scored the highest on measures of sexism and religious fundamentalism had the highest levels of rape myth acceptance and victim-blame attitudes, and the majority of study participants more or less blamed the victim [27]. In a more recent study it was found that a high degree of authoritarianism was more closely related to the acceptance of rape myths and a negative outlook toward rape victims than Christian fundamentalism [28]. ...
... In the literature on the subject, there is a little research on the relationship between attitudes toward rape victims and the depth of religious commitment or religious beliefs. However, in one of the few studies by Sheldon and Parent (2002) it was found that those who scored the highest on measures of sexism and religious fundamentalism had the highest levels of rape myth acceptance and victim-blame attitudes, and the majority of study participants more or less blamed the victim [27]. In a more recent study it was found that a high degree of authoritarianism was more closely related to the acceptance of rape myths and a negative outlook toward rape victims than Christian fundamentalism [28]. ...
Article
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Sexual violence against women, including rape, is a serious public health issue in many countries. Rape victims often meet health professionals in medical institutions for a range of health problems. The aim of this research was investigation of attitudes towards rape victims among medical students. Methods: The study sample consisted of 1183 university students who represented various medical disciplines. The average age of the respondents was 23.3 years. The Attitudes toward Rape Victims Scale (ARVS) was used in this study. Results: Higher scores in men indicate that they held less sympathetic attitudes towards rape victims than women (61.6 vs. 52.6, p = 0.0000). Given the univariate interaction, social environment, and religious commitment did not significantly differentiate the respondents in this respect. Students of the medical faculty obtained the lowest results (medicine 49.7 vs. midwifery and nursing: 54.1, other fields: 54.4, p = 0.0008), showing much understanding and empathy for rape victims. Conclusions: The surveyed medical students presented moderately positive attitudes towards rape victims, among them men somewhat negative than women who made more pro-victim judgments. Among all medical field of study, medicine was distinguished by higher empathy. Religion and social environment independently do not differentiate respondents in this respect.
... RMs also contribute to a host of deleterious consequences. For instance, in a sample of 214 members of clergy, manyparticularly religious fundamentalistsendorsed rape myths and demonstrated high levels of victim blame, emphasizing the female victim's role in provoking the attack and using the female's level of resistance to inform their judgments (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Victims who endorse RMs are also more likely to blame themselves for their assaults and less likely to report their assaults to law enforcement (Heath et al., 2013;Rich, 2014). ...
... In addition, several variables interrelated to core RMs influence people's perceptions of whether a sexual assault occurred or not. For example, a victim's perceived level of responsibility for the assault is influenced by factors such as their conduct and reactions during an instance of sexual assault (Davies et al., 2009;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;van der Bruggen & Grubb, 2014). Information concerning the victim-perpetrator relationship is also a salient variable correlated to perceived victim responsibility. ...
Article
Rape myths (RMs) are a complex set of cultural beliefs and attitudes that support and condone sexual violence, mainly by shifting blame from the perpetrator to the victim. Much empirical attention has been paid to how RMs perpetuate cultural norms that justify sexually assaultive behaviours, with research demonstrating that individuals who have higher rape myth acceptance (RMA) are less likely to believe victims of sexual assault, report their own assault if victimized, and are themselves at an increased risk for sexual violence perpetration. Though several methods exist for assessing RMA, shifting cultural norms make it increasingly difficult to accurately assess RMA using traditional quantitative methods; existing research shows discrepancies in response patterns between qualitative and quantitative examinations of RMAs. In a mock-jury paradigm, university (n = 86) and community-based participants (n = 82) responded to a fictitious police report of sexual coercion between two romantic partners. Results indicated that although respondents endorsed low levels of RMA on a self-report measure (updated IRMA), their qualitative responses endorsed four distinct RMs, such as “she asked for it,” which attributes responsibility for the assault to the victim. Implications and future directions for research will be discussed.
... Such findings regarding the relationship between religion and rape myth acceptance have led researchers to study the endorsement of rape myths by religious leaders. Sheldon and Parent (2002) studied clergy members and found that sexist views correlated positively with negative views toward rape victims. In addition, increased religious fundamentalism was associated with increased sexist views and increased negative attitudes toward rape victims. ...
... Rape vignettes. Participants were exposed to three vignettes to assess for victim-blaming attitudes associated with rape myth acceptance (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). All vignettes were constructed to describe a scenario that meets the legal definition of rape but differs with respect to the length and type of relationship between the victim and rapist. ...
Article
The current study investigated the relationship between purity culture, rape myth acceptance, and intrinsic religiosity in the Christian population. Specifically, this study explored if purity culture endorsement would be associated with increased rape myth acceptance and increased likelihood of incorrectly labeling rape. It was also examined whether intrinsic religiosity would ameliorate the relationship between purity culture and rape myth acceptance. Ninety-nine Christian men and women participated in this study. Results demonstrated that endorsement of purity culture was related to increased endorsement of rape myths and increased likelihood of labeling marital rape and acquaintance rape as consensual sex. Intrinsic religiosity was also found to be a significant moderator of the relationship between purity culture and rape myth acceptance. Overall, these findings have important implications for how purity culture is taught and understood, and how these teachings relate to the Christian population’s involvement in the cultural dialogue surrounding sexual assault.
... Research indicates that individuals in positions of power (e.g., law enforcement officers, medical staff, clergy) have reported negative attitudes toward rape victims, which can color the support and care they provide to victims. For example, Sheldon and Parent (2002) assessed attitudes toward rape victims and attributions of blame in a sample of interdenominational clergy members. Participants who scored higher on measures of sexism and fundamentalism were more likely to blame the female victim strongly and to cite common rape myths as the reasons for their judgments (e.g., the woman was provocative, the woman did not resist). ...
... Collectively, these individual-difference results converge with long history of prior work examining the relationship between rape myth acceptance and judgments about alleged victims and alleged perpetrators. Whether participants were clergy (Sheldon and Parent 2002), lawyers , law enforcement officers Bull 2012, 2015), students (Angelone et al. 2015), or online adults (Sussenbach et al. 2013), prior studies reported consistently positive relationships between high endorsement of rape-supportive beliefs and negative judgments of sexual assault victims. ...
Article
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Previous research results have yielded a consistent link between rape myth acceptance and sexual assault victim blaming: Individuals reporting higher levels of rape myth acceptance also report higher levels of victim blaming. In four studies we explored whether the presentation of rape-myth confirming information or rape-myth debunking information might moderate these tendencies. In these studies, U.S. undergraduates (97 in Study 1, 84 in Study 2, 98 in Study 3, and 116 in Study 4) read scenarios of a heterosexual sexual assault case and were randomly assigned to a control condition, a rape myth confirmation condition, or a rape myth debunking condition; they also reported the extent to which they endorsed or accepted rape myths. Rape myth acceptance robustly correlated with judgments made about accusers and accused rapists regardless whether the accuser/accused pairing was female/male (Studies 1 and 2) or male/female (Studies 3 and 4). For example, those who most strongly endorsed rape myths were also likely to disbelieve accusers. There were few instances indicating that the presentation of rape myth confirming information or rape myth debunking information moderated these effects. This lack of moderation occurred regardless of whether the information came from trial lawyers or from expert witnesses in the case. The relative impotence of the information presentations could be due to several factors (e.g., entrenched nature of rape myth acceptance, psychological reactance, timing and strength of manipulation), and we suggest ideas for how to overcome this relative impotence in future research.
... Female chastity, wifely duties, and the ideal women are a few examples of the themes within religious texts that endorse patriarchy and contribute to a culture that excuses men's violence against women (Narasimhan-Madhavan, 2006;Niaz, 2003). Sheldon and Parent's (2002) research suggests that rape myths are endorsed by a large number of clergy. Findings show that more religious participants have higher rape myth endorsement than less religious participants (Edwards et al., 2011;Freymeyer, 1997;Suarez & Gadalla, 2010). ...
... Although some research has explored religion and rape myth acceptance (e.g., Edwards et al., 2011;Freymeyer, 1997;Sheldon & Parent, 2002), limited research has considered both religious affiliation and religiosity, for available studies have focused mainly on Christian versus non-Christian beliefs as variables for rape myth acceptance (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1994), failing to separate religious affiliation into sub-groups (or categories). In addition, previous studies have not simultaneously considered the roles of gender and political ideology while investigating the impacts of religion and religiosity. ...
Article
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Rape myths are false beliefs about rape, rape victims, and rapists, often prejudicial and stereotypical. Guided by feminist theory and available empirical research, this study aimed to examine the influences of gender, religious affiliation, and religiosity on rape myth acceptance of U.S. emerging adults. A sample of 653 university students aged 18 to 30 years were recruited from a large public university in the southern United States to complete the research questionnaires. Results indicated that individuals who identified as Roman Catholic or Protestant endorsed higher levels of rape myth acceptance than their atheist or agnostic counterparts. Men were found more likely to ascribe to rape myths than their female counterparts. Religiosity was positively associated with rape myth acceptance, even after controlling the effect of conservative political ideology. No significant interaction was found between gender and religious affiliation or gender and religiosity. Limitations, future research directions, and implications of the findings are discussed from the perspective of feminist theory.
... Research has demonstrated that religiously conservative clergy are more likely to adhere to patriarchal gender roles and are therefore less sympathetic toward and less effective in helping battered women (Gengler & Lee, 2001;Martin, 1989), whereas doctrinally liberal clergy are more likely to be proactive regarding prevention. Religious beliefs based on the authority and inerrancy of the Bible have been shown to be the core of Christian fundamentalist beliefs (Altemeyer & Hunsberger, 2004;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Therefore, religious fundamentalist beliefs were assessed by asking the following question: Which of the following statements is the closest to describing your view of the Bible? ...
... Although results were not significant, the gender role attitudes of Korean American clergy showed a trend toward influencing their responses to domestic violence, with Korean American ministers who held less traditional gender role attitudes reporting stronger endorsement for victim safety promoting actions. These results were expected at the outset of the study and mirror past research that demonstrated the relationship between gender role attitudes and attitudes and behaviors toward domestic violence (Berkel et al., 2004;Crossman et al., 1990;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). ...
Article
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Korean immigrants rely heavily on their respective churches for assistance with domestic violence. Yet, Korean clergy’s responses to domestic violence are unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence Korean clergy’s responses to domestic violence in their congregations. Results showed that clergy’s Korean cultural values, age, and length of residence in the United States influence their responses to domestic violence. Developing a collaborative working relationship between Korean clergy and domestic violence advocates, as well as providing training to Korean clergy targeting their knowledge, beliefs/attitudes, and skills is critical for promoting safety of battered Korean immigrant women.
... The third dimension of interventions in women's empowerment was attitude. People's attitudes and reactions to violence play a significant role in reporting violence and the type of victim's reactions to experiences of violence (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Women's perceptions of gender norms and traditional societal pressures can sometimes deter violence against them. ...
Article
Empowerment is a key goal in anti-violence programs against women, which can help women control, prevent, and cope effectively with domestic violence. However, there are no specific guidelines for women's empowerment interventions in this area. This study aimed to explore the dimensions of women's empowerment to cope effectively with domestic violence in a sample of women and related experts. In this qualitative content analysis, data was gathered via 21 individual semi-constructed interviews and two five-person focus group discussions. Thirty-one participants were selected by the purposive sampling approach. Fifteen subcategories were extracted after the data analysis, which included multiple revisions and the merging of 892 primary codes based on similarity, which led to the extraction of 15 subcategories. Then, five main categories were identified as dimensions of women’s empowerment to cope effectively with domestic violence: marital life skills, cognitive self-appraisal, attitude, economic agency, and access to resources. Participants cited marital life skills and attitude as essential dimensions of women's empowerment. These results provide a comprehensive view of the dimensions of women’s empowerment to cope effectively with domestic violence in Iran that can be used as a basis for planning empowerment interventions to promote women’s health against violence.
... During the data collection, we drew from group teachings, websites, and writings, and also court cases and secondary accounts addressing the behavior of the Twelve Tribes and the Quiverfull movements. Further, given that the literature on group violence, sexual abuse, and child abuse supports the use of victim statements in research (Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Knapik et al., 2010;Parker, 2011;Spröber et al., 2014;Alcantara et al., 2019), we have also drawn upon former members' statements and interviews, particularly when group writings and statements support those sources. After the collection phase, we assessed the data for emergent themes. ...
Article
This article focuses on the extent to which interactions between religious communities and the State can leave children vulnerable to physical abuse. In recent history, there have been numerous challenges to State control and authority from both new and nontraditional religious movements (Urban, 2006; Richardson & Bellanger, 2014; Doherty, 2016). In comparison, one can argue that insufficient attention has been paid to how religious groups seek to constrain or evade government authority to protect children. As part of their “monopoly of violence” (Gallaher & Froehling, 2002), governments in democratic societies are expected to protect the physical security of citizens. Despite this expectation, it is arguable that, when it comes to concerns over the bodies of minors, governing officials have been more limited and certainly more inconsistent in their actions to provide protection. This reality leads to a dangerous situation in which children’s well-being is subsumed to the rights of religious communities.
... Research on the pervasiveness of sexual violence on college campuses has focused on the beliefs about violence in the larger society, as well as the local culture of college life. It is important to recognize, however, that these beliefs interplay with each other, perpetuating violence norms and myths that can have significant bearing on survivor wellbeing and adjustment (Heise, 1998;Moor, 2007;Peterson & Muehlenhard, 2004;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Ullman & Najdowski, 2011). To illustrate these beliefs at the individual and community level in the campus setting, the term rape myth is often cited as a central cultural force. ...
Article
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There is little data on what influences posttraumatic growth for women who experienced non-consensual sexual contact (NCSC) as an undergraduate college student. The purpose of this study is to garner a better understanding of posttraumatic growth among women-identifying survivors of undergraduate NCSC by addressing the following aims: 1) evaluate the mediating role of NCSC-related shame on the relationship between perceived peer rape myth acceptance and posttraumatic growth ( n = 174); and 2) evaluate the shared and independent variance contributions of mental health symptoms and trauma history clusters on posttraumatic growth ( n = 151). NCSC-related shame did not mediate the relationship between perceived peer rape myth acceptance and posttraumatic growth. Mental health symptoms and trauma history significantly contributed to 35.27% of posttraumatic growth variance, with the trauma history cluster significantly influencing posttraumatic growth scores beyond mental health symptoms. Based on these findings, it is important that clinicians assess for a history of trauma and the impact of that trauma in addition to mental health symptoms when trying to understand posttraumatic growth after campus sexual violence.
... Rural sexual assault patients are faced with longheld cultural beliefs that discourage postassault care. A lack of community education, combined with the belief that women should be passive and submissive, places women at an elevated risk of being victimized, receiving inadequate support, and therefore experiencing the prolonged adverse effects of victimization (Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Yuvarajan & Stanford, 2016). For HELP SARA to build a sustainable, effective program, recognizing the existing culture regarding sexual assault was essential. ...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to explore the opportunities and barriers challenging sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) operating in rural and underserved areas. These challenges include the absence of established SANE programs, patient isolation and poverty, inadequate community support, and ensuring program sustainability. While not specific to rural communities, these challenges and barriers are further exacerbated by long-held beliefs and misconceptions that exist in small, close-knit communities. To mitigate these challenges, SANE programs in rural communities are asked to respond with creative and unique solutions. Through strong community partnerships and carefully coordinated efforts, SANE programs can thrive in even the most isolated and economically depressed rural communities.
... Interestingly, research on victim blaming shows that the very same factors also influence people's tendency to blame victims. That is, people who hold a fundamentalistic religious worldview (Sheldon & Parent, 2002), believe in a just world (e.g., Strömwall et al., 2013;Van den Bos & Maas, 2009), and hold a conservative attitude (Lambert & Raichle, 2000;Williams, 1984) are more likely to blame victims. In a high-powered study with more than 600 participants (Genschow & Vehlow, 2021; Study 3) we assessed in addition to victim blaming and free will beliefs, also other related beliefs (i.e., dualism and determinism), belief in a just world, religious worldviews, and political ideology (i.e., conservatism vs. liberalism). ...
... Another significant cultural characteristic that may also affect victim-blaming is religious affiliation. People with more fundamentalist religious beliefs express more blame toward rape victims (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). According to Moral Foundations Theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2004), religious individuals tend to prioritize the binding moral foundations (i.e., purity, loyalty and authority; Graham & Haidt, 2010), which are related to higher levels of victim-blaming in sexual and non-sexual crimes (See Niemi & Young, 2016). ...
Article
This study examined the effects of ethnicity on victim-blaming in a case of stabbing by addressing victim and offender ethnicity as well as observer ethnicity and religion. Jewish (n = 285), Muslim Arab (n = 249), and Christian Arab (n = 51) students from Israeli universities and colleges read a single stabbing scenario, in which we manipulated victim (Arab\Jewish) and offender ethnicity (African\Arab\Jewish). The results showed that participants blamed a Jewish victim more than an Arab victim. Also, our findings indicated that Christian Arabs expressed significantly higher victim-blaming than Jews. However, victim-blaming among Christian Arabs did not significantly differ from victim-blaming among Muslim Arabs, and victim-blaming among Muslim Arabs did not significantly differ from victim-blaming among Jews. Furthermore, the interactions between observer and victim ethnicity and between observer and offender ethnicity were significant. The discussion addresses the findings in the context of prejudice against members of African and Arab communities, the black sheep effect, and defensive attribution. In addition, the discussion suggests that observer ethnic and religious background may be related to blame-attribution mode: fixed (not affected by victim and offender ethnicity) or modular (affected by victim and offender ethnicity). From the practical standpoint, our findings suggest a need for further education on prejudice against minorities and promoting ethnic diversity among practitioners assisting and treating victims.
... Given that female college freshmen are the demographic most at risk for sexual assault (Carey et al. 2015), it would be particularly relevant for rape victims within religious institutions, such as Christian colleges or Catholic high schools. The present study and previous literature supports the link between religiosity and rape victim blame (Sheldon and Parent 2002;Simonson and Subich 1999). However, according to our results, bringing up religious constructs could reduce victim blame, particularly among highly religious participants. ...
Article
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Rape victim blame contributes to unreported incidents of sexual assault and failure to support victims (Ahrens in American Journal of Community Psychology, 38(3-4), 263-274, 2006). The present study investigated the relationship between religiosity, religious priming, and rape victim blame. Using an online Qualtrics panel, 247 U.S. participants were randomly assigned to either a neutral prime or a religious prime. They then read a short vignette of an acquaintance rape scenario and answered questions regarding perceptions of victim blame, victim credibility, benevolent and hostile sexism, religiosity, religious fundamentalism, and Rape Myth Acceptance (RMA). Results revealed that the religious prime reduced victim blame for highly religious participants but not among participants scoring lower in religiosity. The results confirmed that religiosity was positively correlated with both victim blame and RMA. The data also confirmed previous findings that men scored higher on blame than women and that higher religiosity correlated with higher victim blame. Additionally, RMA mediated the relationship between religiosity and rape victim blame. The results of this study could prove valuable in settings where sexual assault demands action from specifically religious individuals or institutions (e.g., jurors on a rape case in a highly-religious region or religious universities trying to confront the high prevalence of sexual assault on campus).
... As for community perceptions, the present review corroborates literature on closed or religious societies, particularly Jewish ones (Farrell & Taylor, 2000;Itzhaky & York, 2001;Katzenstein & Fontes, 2017). It describes how they tend to silence the abuse, doubt the victims, and prevent disclosure and formal therapy since acknowledging the "deviant" threatens the community's validity, integrity, and patriarchal norms (e.g., Abu-Baker, 2013;Bruns et al., 2005;Harper & Perkins, 2018;Minto et al., 2016;Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 1999;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Yuvarajan & Stanford, 2016) and its hierarchical structure and social control, as well as its members' reputation (Neustein & Lesher, 2008;Shalhoub-Kevorkian, 2016). In some cases, absence of response is due to lack of awareness of the prevalence and characteristics of the phenomenon among community members (Schmid & Benbenishty, 2011). ...
Article
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Sexual abuse is a cross-cultural phenomenon related to multiple cultural contexts including religious affiliation. The Haredi, or Orthodox Jewish community (OJC), constitutes a significant minority group of the worldwide Jewish population, characterized by cultural conservatism, steadfast loyalty to the community, and strict religious behavioral codes. To date, only few empirical studies (as opposed to multiple media reports) have dealt with the issue of sexual abuse within the OJC. Using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines, we conducted a systematic review of the literature on sexual abuse within the OJC and its subgroups that addresses experiences and reports of victims, perpetrators, the Jewish and general community, and professionals in the North America, Israel, and Australia. Articles were collected from peer-reviewed databases and bibliographies; 13 quantitative and qualitative articles were included in the final sample. Three themes emerged: disclosure of sexual abuse, perceptions and attitudes toward the abuse, and its implications. Results indicated that alongside several findings that were specifically grounded in the context of closed collective or religious societies and the OJC in particular, most essentially reflected universal aspects of sexual abuse. The results suggest promoting context-informed interventions based on community knowledge and resilience, together with appropriate training in order to better understand the needs of the OJC and of closed communities in general.
... As indicated by the experiences of Dr. Blasey Ford, women can be criticized for not reporting their assaults earlier as well as falsely reporting an assault to get revenge on their accused perpetrator. Despite much research showing that the rate of false rape reports are in line with other false violent crime reports (i.e., between 2-10%; Lisak, Gardinier, Nicksa, & Cote, 2010), women are often disbelieved by friends and family (Deming, Covan, Swan, & Billings, 2013;Harned, 2005), law enforcement (Ask, 2010;McMillan, 2018;Sleath & Bull, 2015), and other individuals in authority (e.g., clergy, Sheldon & Parent, 2002;lawyers, Krahé, Temkin, Bieneck, & Berger, 2008). ...
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The present commentary explores the impact of gender role stereotypes on perceptions of both intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence. Two papers published in this issue of Sex Roles explored the influence of gender stereotypes on both IPV (Bates et al., 2019) and rape myths (Klement et al., 2019). An overarching theme of these papers is how gender stereotypes may influence incorrect beliefs in how we view and approach interventions to these two types of violence. Reflecting on this convergence, we have come together as authors to consider how influential and damaging these stereotypes can be to victims of both partner violence and sexual violence. Our paper considers the nature of these stereotypes, who is harmed by them considering both gender and sexuality, and also the impact they have in societal and service responses to violence, as well as policy and practice development
... As indicated by the experiences of Dr. Blasey Ford, women can be criticized for not reporting their assaults earlier as well as falsely reporting an assault to get revenge on their accused perpetrator. Despite much research showing that the rate of false rape reports are in line with other false violent crime reports (i.e., between 2 and 10%; Lisak et al. 2010), women are often disbelieved by friends and family (Deming et al. 2013;Harned 2005), law enforcement (Ask 2010;McMillan 2018;Sleath and Bull 2015), and other individuals in authority (e.g., clergy, Sheldon and Parent 2002;lawyers, Krahé et al. 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present commentary explores the impact of gender role stereotypes on perceptions of both intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence. Two papers published in this issue of Sex Roles explored the influence of gender stereotypes on both IPV (Bates et al., 2019) and rape myths (Klement et al., 2019). An overarching theme of these papers is how gender stereotypes may influence incorrect beliefs in how we view and approach interventions to these two types of violence. Reflecting on this convergence, we have come together as authors to consider how influential and damaging these stereotypes can be to victims of both partner violence and sexual violence. Our paper considers the nature of these stereotypes, who is harmed by them considering both gender and sexuality, and also the impact they have in societal and service responses to violence, as well as policy and practice development.
... As indicated by the experiences of Dr. Blasey Ford, women can be criticized for not reporting their assaults earlier as well as falsely reporting an assault to get revenge on their accused perpetrator. Despite much research showing that the rate of false rape reports are in line with other false violent crime reports (i.e., between 2-10%; Lisak, Gardinier, Nicksa, & Cote, 2010), women are often disbelieved by friends and family (Deming, Covan, Swan, & Billings, 2013;Harned, 2005), law enforcement (Ask, 2010;McMillan, 2018;Sleath & Bull, 2015), and other individuals in authority (e.g., clergy, Sheldon & Parent, 2002;lawyers, Krahé, Temkin, Bieneck, & Berger, 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present commentary explores the impact of gender role stereotypes on perceptions of both intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence. Two papers published in this issue of Sex Roles explored the influence of gender stereotypes on both IPV (Bates et al., 2019) and rape myths (Klement et al., 2019). An overarching theme of these papers is how gender stereotypes may influence incorrect beliefs in how we view and approach interventions to these two types of violence. Reflecting on this convergence, we have come together as authors to consider how influential and damaging these stereotypes can be to victims of both partner violence and sexual violence. Our paper considers the nature of these stereotypes, who is harmed by them considering both gender and sexuality, and also the impact they have in societal and service responses to violence, as well as policy and practice development.
... Acceptance of rape myths has been found in a variety of countries (e.g., Costin & Schwarz, 1987;Ward, 1995, as cited in Temkin & Krahé, 2008) and throughout society. Most studies use (non-law) student samples (e.g., Gölge, Yavuz, Müderrisoğlu, & Yavuz, 2003;Krahé et al., 2007), but rape myth acceptance was also found among the general public (Temkin & Krahé, 2008, Study 3), police officers (Sleath & Bull, 2012;Wheatcroft et al., 2009), undergraduate law students and post-graduate trainee lawyers (Gerichtsreferendare; Krahé, Temkin, Bieneck, & Berger, 2008), the clergy (Sheldon & Parent, 2002), and more pronounced in nontherapists than therapists (Idisis et al., 2007). Among legal professionals like judges, stereotypical notions about rape can manifest directly, e.g., through comments, or indirectly by not applying the law robustly (e.g., California Commision on Judicial Performance, 2012; Supreme Court of the State of Montana, 2014;. ...
Thesis
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The present study investigated the attribution of responsibility to victims and perpetrators in rape compared to robbery cases in Turkey. Each participant read three short case scenarios (vignettes) and completed items pertaining to the female victim and male perpetrator. The vignettes were systematically varied with regard to the type of crime that was committed (rape or robbery), the perpetrator’s coercive strategy (physical force or exploiting the victim’s alcohol-induced defenselessness), and the victim-perpetrator relationship prior to the incident (stranger, acquaintance, or ex-partner). Furthermore, participant gender and acceptance of rape myths (beliefs that justify or trivialize sexual violence) were taken into account. One half of the participants completed the rape myth acceptance (RMA) scales first and then received the vignettes, while the other half were given the vignettes first and then completed the RMA scales. As expected, more blame was attributed to victims of rape than to victims of robbery. Conversely, perpetrators of rape were blamed less than perpetrators of robbery. The more participants endorsed rape myths, the more blame was attributed to the victim and the less blame was attributed to the perpetrators. Increasing levels of RMA were associated with an increase in victim blame (VB) in both rape and robbery cases, but the increase in rape VB was significantly more pronounced than in robbery VB. Increasing RMA was associated with an attenuation of perpetrator blame (PB) that was more pronounced for rape than for robbery cases, but the difference was not significant. As expected, victims of rape were blamed more when the perpetrator exploited their defenselessness due to alcohol intoxication than when they were overpowered by physical force. Contrary to the hypothesis, this was also true for robbery victims. Rape victims who knew their attacker (ex-partner or acquaintance) were blamed more than victims who were assaulted by strangers. Contrary to the hypothesis, robbery victims who were assaulted by an ex-partner were blamed more than acquaintance or stranger robbery victims. As predicted, the closer the relationship between victim and perpetrator, the less blame was attributed to perpetrators of rape while this factor had no effect on PB in robbery cases. Men compared to women attributed more blame to the victims and less blame to the perpetrators. As expected, these gender differences in blame attributions were partially mediated by gender differences in RMA: After RMA was taken into account, the gender differences disappeared nearly completely for VB and were significantly reduced in PB. The order of presentation of the vignettes and the RMA measures was systematically varied to test the causal influence of RMA on rape blame attributions. The hypothesis that RMA causes VB and PB in rape cases (as opposed to the other way around or both are caused by a third variable) was not supported. Possible reasons for this failed manipulation and its implications for the mediation model are discussed. With regard to blame attribution in rape cases, the present results match what was expected from previous studies which were mainly conducted in “Western” countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, or Germany. The present results support the notion that the victim-perpetrator relationship and the victim’s alcohol consumption are cross-culturally stable factors for blame attribution in rape cases. It was expected that blame attribution in robbery cases would be unaffected by the perpetrator’s coercive strategy and the victim-perpetrator relationship, but the results were inconsistent. One unexpected effect is particularly noteworthy: When the perpetrator used physical force, more blame was attributed to rape than to robbery victims, but intoxicated victims were blamed more and almost equally so for both types of crime. Perpetrators who exploited drunk victims were blamed less in both rape and robbery cases. These results contradict German results collected with the German version of the same instruments (Bieneck & Krahé, 2011). Turkey is a Muslim country and alcohol is surrounded by a certain taboo. Possibly, the results reflect a cultural difference in that intoxicated victims are generally blamed more for their victimization and this factor is not limited to rape cases.
... A rape case is perceived as stereotypical (i.e., real rape) if the perpetrator is a stranger and a deviant person (Greenberg and Ruback, 1992), he uses a weapon or physical force during the rape (McGregor et al., 2000), the victim reports the rape and cooperates with the police without hesitation (Bongiorno et al., 2016). Participants were more likely to blame the victim and believe that it was not rape when the case was perceived counter-stereotypical, that is, when the victim did not fight against the perpetrator physically and did not cooperate with the police (Sheldon and Parent, 2002). Putting together the effects of stereotypicality and group belonging, Bongiorno et al. (2016) found that the perpetrator's out-group membership did not affect the evaluation of a stereotypical rape case, however, the ingroup perpetrator was more likely to be excused and the victim blamed for the rape when the rape was counter-stereotypic. ...
Article
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Rape cases of celebrities and other influential figures have caught the public eye in recent years. Following the media attention to these cases, people made strong judgments either believing or doubting the victims. Even though some of these men were convicted, they tended to receive little jail time and continued to enjoy people’s sympathy, as in the case of the Hungarian national swimming-coach. We examined whether opinions about the coach’s rape were affected by rape myth acceptance (RMA) and the perception of the perpetrator as a successful person. We conducted two online surveys to reveal this connection at two different points. The case was still somewhat ambiguous at the time of data collection for Study 1 (N = 870) because the perpetrator denied it. However, Study 2 (N = 105) took place after the perpetrator admitted his crime. In line with our predictions, we found that in the uncertain context of Study 1, RMA and the perception of the perpetrator as a successful person predicted whether respondents labeled the incident as rape, and how the perpetrator’s reactions were judged morally. In the certain condition of Study 2, RMA continued to predict moral judgments, but it no longer predicted whether the incident was labeled as rape. These findings showed that in the evaluation of a rape case of a popular and powerful person, perception of the perpetrator’s success can affect the overall evaluation of the case based on the level of RMA. However, such a connection is more pronounced when there are still ambiguities regarding the rape. We therefore suggest that both RMA and the effect of the overall perception of the perpetrator are considered in rape prevention programs, because rape cases rarely appear as certain and unambiguous in the media.
... Many studies have identified a link between fundamentalism and negative attitudes, or open hostility, toward outgroups. While most studies examining the fundamentalism-prejudice link have investigated negative attitudes toward minority groups, such as homosexuals (Whitley, 2009, for a review), transgender individuals (e.g., Nagoshi et al., 2008), or racial minorities , for a review), only a few have also looked at gender-related prejudice (attitudes toward women: McFarland, 1989;Hunsberger et al., 1999; endorsement of rape myth: Sheldon and Parent, 2002;ambivalent sexism: Hill et al., 2010). ...
Article
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The New Year’s Eve 2015 mass sexual assaults in Germany led to a broader debate about whether the perpetrators, most of them self-identifying as Muslims, were encouraged to such acts by particularly sexist attitudes toward girls and women. Here, we argue that it is not the specific religious affiliation of individuals per se that predicts sexism. Rather it should be the extent to which they are involved in their religion, i.e., their religiosity and their endorsement of religious fundamentalism. In line with the theory of ambivalent sexism, we distinguish hostile and benevolent sexism, while controlling for right-wing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation. In two Pilot Studies, we explored differences in ambivalent sexism (a) between male and female individuals of Muslim faith, Christian faith, Muslim faith, Christian faith, and no religious affiliation residing in Germany, while at the same time (b) differentiating between sexism directed toward girls and sexism directed toward women. In our Main Study, we tested the interrelations between religiosity, religious fundamentalism, and ambivalent sexism in our religious subsamples of male Christians, female Christians, male Muslims, and female Muslims using a multigroup multivariate moderated mediation analysis. In all three studies, Muslims were more religious, endorsed religious fundamentalism more strongly, and held stronger benevolent sexist beliefs toward girls and women as well as stronger hostile sexist beliefs toward women than Christians and non-religious participants. In our Main Study, with female Christians as the reference group, male Muslims’ stronger benevolent and hostile sexist beliefs toward girls were mediated by religiosity and fundamentalism. Female Muslims’ stronger endorsement of benevolent sexism toward girls could be explained by their higher level of fundamentalism. While our findings show that differences in ambivalent sexism between religious groups were partly due to different levels of religiosity and fundamentalism, they also suggest that there are factors other than those investigated in our studies responsible for male Muslims’ particularly strong sexism. We discuss specific contents of Islamic religious teachings and honor beliefs as possible causes to be investigated further in future research.
... This is surprising given that certain Christian religious beliefs have been implicated as supportive of IPVMs (Edwards et al., 2011), including beliefs historically emphasized within evangelical Protestant theology (e.g., "female submission and male headship"; Stephens & Walker, 2015, p. 210). It follows therefore that researchers would find that some Christian religious leaders adhered to IPVMs (Levitt & Ware, 2006;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Yuvarajan & Stanford, 2016). In addition, religious leaders are frequently idealized and ascribed significant influence by followers and/or those seeking their help. ...
Article
Religiousness has a long-standing presence in the research literature on intolerance. However, religiousness is minimally represented in the interpersonal violence myth (IPVM) literature. IPVMs comprise an aspect of the broader construct of intolerance. We heeded the call to address research on tradition-specific religious beliefs and IPVMs. As such, we examined select Christian beliefs about Divine-human relating, hierarchical relational expectations, complementarian gender ideology, and existential defensiveness as predictors of Domestic violence myth acceptance (DVMA) using a sample of 238 students from a Protestant evangelical seminary (Mage = 34.06, SD = 9.33; range 22 - 62 years; 41.6% female; 80.7% White). We observed positive associations among Calvinist tradition-specific religious beliefs and the 3 indicators of the latent construct of hierarchical relationality (i.e., hierarchical relational expectations, gender complementarianism, and existential defensiveness). We also observed (a) a positive indirect association between Calvinist beliefs and DVMA through the latent construct of hierarchical relationality, and (b) a negative indirect association between Calvinist beliefs and social justice advocacy through hierarchical relationality. Last, we observed evidence of suppression as the significant positive bivariate association between Calvinist beliefs and DVMA became significant and negative. Findings supported the conceptualization of domestic violence myths as comprised by nonacceptance of out-group members, hierarchical relationships, and gender inequality, and that an aspect of Calvinist ideology is similarly defined. Implications included designing training programs for religious leaders and constructing prevention and intervention strategies that foster self-reflection on religious beliefs associated with DVMA.
... This is surprising given that certain Christian religious beliefs have been implicated as supportive of IPVMs (Edwards et al., 2011), including beliefs historically emphasized within evangelical Protestant theology (e.g., "female submission and male headship"; Stephens & Walker, 2015, p. 210). It follows therefore that researchers would find that some Christian religious leaders adhered to IPVMs (Levitt & Ware, 2006;Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Yuvarajan & Stanford, 2016). In addition, religious leaders are frequently idealized and ascribed significant influence by followers and/or those seeking their help. ...
Article
Full-text available
Religiousness has a long-standing presence in the research literature on intolerance. However, religiousness is minimally represented in the interpersonal violence myth (IPVM) literature. IPVMs comprise an aspect of the broader construct of intolerance. We heeded the call to address research on tradition-specific religious beliefs and IPVMs. As such, we examined select Christian beliefs about Divine–human relating, hierarchical relational expectations, complementarian gender ideology, and existential defensiveness as predictors of Domestic violence myth acceptance (DVMA) using a sample of 238 students from a Protestant evangelical seminary (Mage = 34.06, SD = 9.33; range 22 – 62 years; 41.6% female; 80.7% White). We observed positive associations among Calvinist tradition-specific religious beliefs and the 3 indicators of the latent construct of hierarchical relationality (i.e., hierarchical relational expectations, gender complementarianism, and existential defensiveness). We also observed (a) a positive indirect association between Calvinist beliefs and DVMA through the latent construct of hierarchical relationality, and (b) a negative indirect association between Calvinist beliefs and social justice advocacy through hierarchical relationality. Last, we observed evidence of suppression as the significant positive bivariate association between Calvinist beliefs and DVMA became significant and negative. Findings supported the conceptualization of domestic violence myths as comprised by nonacceptance of out-group members, hierarchical relationships, and gender inequality, and that an aspect of Calvinist ideology is similarly defined. Implications included designing training programs for religious leaders and constructing prevention and intervention strategies that foster self-reflection on religious beliefs associated with DVMA.
... Several terms have been used in research to describe sexy dress including provocative dress, body-revealing dress, revealing dress, and suggestive dress(Guéguen 2011;Gurung and Chrouser 2007;Moor 2010;Sheldon and Parent 2002;Whatley 2005). ...
Article
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Our research purpose was to assess research addressing relationships between dress and sex. Our review was focused on a 25 years span (i.e., 1990–2015) and on empirical research utilizing human participants published in refereed journals. Three main areas of research emerged: (1) dress used as cue to sexual information, (2) dress and sexual violence, and (3) dress, sex, and objectification. Our analyses revealed parents do invest their young children with sex-typed dress however sometimes children demand to wear such dress. Some women intentionally use dress to communicate sexual information but inferences about women who wear sexy dress can be misinterpreted and are sometimes negative. Observers link wearing sexy dress to violence including sexual coercion, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and unwelcome groping, touching, and grabbing. Certain items of sexy dress that reveal the body have been linked to self-objectification. The fit of the items may also contribute to the body revealing nature of clothing styles that elicit self-objectification. The use of sexual images of women and children has increased over time and viewing such images is also linked to self- and other-objectification. Suggestions are provided for future research.
... The literature on the subject includes Latané and Darley's (1970) exploration of the prosocial role of bystanders' witnessing crime victims and the types of helping behaviour displayed in emergencies. In Flood and Pease's (2009) review, it was found that several factors influence attitudes towards violence and the tendency to promote or reduce it: misogynistic attitude to gender ( Harris et al., 2005), beliefs supportive of violence ( Anderson et al., 2004), and victim blaming ( Sheldon and Parent, 2002) are among them. Lazarus and Signal (2013) looked at the relationship between attitudes towards IPV and bystanders' behaviour in predicting the willingness to intervene when witnessing IPV. ...
Article
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of contextual factors on the attribution of responsibility to female victims of an intimate partner violence (IPV) episode. The victim's infidelity and the perpetrator's alcohol abuse constituted the contextual factors in the investigation. The bystander's age, gender, and attitude towards gender roles were predicted to influence the attribution of responsibility to an IPV victim, and their willingness to help. Design/methodology/approach – An experimental study was conducted with 464 Italian participants with two independent conditions incorporated into a fictional scenario, measuring the different levels of the dependent variables under investigation. The participants were randomly assigned to different conditions provided their answers via an anonymous questionnaire. Findings – The participants attributed more responsibility to the victim when they admitted infidelity, controlling for gender role norms and sexism. Attribution of responsibility, male gender, and attitudes towards the male gender role were significantly associated with less willingness to help the victim. Practical implications – The results point to the importance of increasing the bystander's role in preventing IPV by addressing gender role norms and their impact on the justification of violence. Originality/value – The study complements the existing literature by providing new evidence of the barriers that prevent the bystander's intervention in IPV episodes. A clearer understanding of these barriers will help to develop strategies that aim to prevent violence in the future.
... Religious fundamentalism (including corollary constructs such as dogmatism, religious intolerance, and conservatism; Blogowska & Saroglou, 2011;Mavor et al., 2011) tends to function as a risk factor for increased rape myth acceptance (e.g., Aosved & Long, 2006;Jankowski et al., 2011;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). We could only find one study on extrinsic religiousness and rape myth acceptance. ...
Article
This study addressed the lack of research simultaneously examining multiple dimensions of religiousness when predicting rape myth acceptance, and extended prior findings of a mediating role for right-wing authoritarianism (i.e., uncritical submission to authority and aggressive attitude toward those who do not conform to social norms) in the association between religiousness and prejudice. The sample consisted of 99 undergraduate and graduate students (M age = 31.87 years, 66.7% female, 80.82% White, and 93% Christian affiliated) from a religiously affiliated university in the Midwest United States. As hypothesized, dimensions of religiousness exhibited differential associations with rape myth acceptance. Religious motivation characterized by openness and exploration (i.e., quest religiousness) was a significant negative predictor of rape myth acceptance, directly, and indirectly through right-wing authoritarianism. In contrast, rigid adherence to religious beliefs, assumed to be “right” and absolutely true (i.e., religious fundamentalism), and extrinsically motivated religiousness each exhibited a positive association with rape myth acceptance through right-wing authoritarianism. In addition, internally motivated religiousness and religious fundamentalism each moderated the nonlinear effect for quest predicting rape myth acceptance. Findings suggest that uncritical religious and secular submission to external authorities or uncommitted and nonexploring religiousness may have increased the extent to which persons adhered to rape myths, whereas religious exploration was protective. Practical implications center on the need for socioculturally relevant prevention and intervention efforts with religious identifying college students.
... These messages, perhaps well intended, are excellent examples of socialization practices that promote rape mythology within religious institutions. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for clergy to promote rape myth acceptance and victim blaming (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). ...
Article
Socialization that occurs within some conservative Christian contexts might facilitate development of attitudes and beliefs that increase women’s risk for sexual assault. Patriarchal community structure and rigid gender role adherence place women in subordinate roles and maintain gender inequality. Within conservative, dogmatic contexts, comprehensive sex education and education about assault might be minimal, and rape myths are hypothesized to be more prevalent. This study assessed sexual assault experiences (victimization and perpetration) in a sample of 208 male and female college students affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Women reported victimization of all forms of sexual coercion at higher rates than men reported perpetration. In addition, traditional gender role adherence mediated the link between dogmatic, religiously fundamentalist beliefs and acceptance of rape mythology for both men and women. Traditional gender role adherence also mediated the link between religious fundamentalism and sexual assault behaviors for men.
... Research indicates that individuals in positions of power can have negative attitudes toward rape victims, which can color the support and care they provide to victims. Sheldon and Parent (2002) assessed attitudes toward rape victims and attributions of blame of a sample of interdenominational clergy members. Participants who scored higher on measures of sexism and fundamentalism placed more blame on the female victim. ...
Article
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Despite advances in gender and sexual equality, women are still constrained by standards and norms in American culture. Women hear messages that they must remain sexually abstinent, and if they violate these proscriptions, they are met with negative social consequences. The present study examined a potential source for such messages: women-directed Christian dating books, using hypothesis-driven thematic analysis. Based on Moon and Reger’s findings of rape myths, dehumanization and objectification of women, and sexism among mixed-gender dating books, it was expected that the women-directed books would contain both messages of purity culture, which mandates that women either remain virgins or be considered whores, and messages of rape culture, which supports sexual violence and invokes consequences for women who deviate from socially proscribed gendered norms. These hypotheses were supported. Content analysis of both mixed-gender and women-directed Christian dating books revealed themes such as: the belief that sex devalues women; men and women were created for different, complementary purposes; sex should only be for procreation; women are responsible for sexual violence that men perpetrate; women should expect and accept sexual violence as a normal part of life; and women who are not submissive should be derogated. The implications of finding these themes in media meant to convey lessons of purity are discussed.
... Los juicios o atribuciones causales no solo dependen de la información que se posea sobre el incidente, sino también pueden verse influidos por características individuales del perceptor. En este sentido, las investigaciones han destacado variables como la raza (Nagel, Matsuo, McIntyre y Morrison, 2005), las creencias religiosas (Sheldon y Parent, 2002), o el sexo de quien emite el juicio (Grubb y Harrower, 2008; Percepción Social de las Agresiones Sexuales Social Perception of Sexual Assaults 30 Jimenez y Abreu, 2003; como relevantes a la hora de atribuir una mayor o menor culpabilidad a víctimas y agresores sexuales. ...
... Many scholars have criticized religious institutions for promoting rape myths (Edwards et al. 2011), and there has been anecdotal evidence that suggests some religious leaders may promote rape myths. What little work exists also indicates a high rate of rape myth acceptance among many male clergy members (Sheldon and Parent 2002), so it is possible that women who attend religious services more often will be exposed to rape myths more often. Oddly though, frequency of religious service attendance seems to be the only religious indicator of RMA. ...
Article
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Rape myths, which shift responsibility for sexual assault from the assailant to the victim, have gained prominence in American politics. Like many negative stereotypes, rape myths have a strong association with public opinion on the social groups affected by the stereotype. In this study, I investigate rape myth acceptance in the US population, differences in the causes of rape myth acceptance among men and women, and the effect of rape myths on political beliefs. I show that rape myth acceptance is significantly related to a decrease in support for access to contraception and increases opposition to abortion among male respondents. This finding is particularly significant given the current debates over women’s healthcare and the future of reproductive health policy in particular.
... Burt, 1980;Gray, Palileo, & Johnson, 1993;Xenos & Smith, 2001). Finally, although religion is not definitively related to attitudes toward victims, we know of one study that found more fundamentalist religious attitudes were related to negative attitudes toward rape victims (Sheldon & Parent, 2002). ...
Article
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This study examined beliefs among correctional officers about responding to inmate-on-inmate sexual assault in jails. It is unique in its focus as no other published study has examined this topic using these variables in this setting. The authors utilize survey methodology to measure correctional officer perceptions about responding to sexual assaults among inmates. Results indicate that support for responding to instances of sexual assault among inmates differs somewhat by type of response and size of jail facility examined. Multivariate results suggest that while perceptions of inmate credibility are usually relevant, demographic factors matter more for those who work in larger jails, while beliefs about rape myths are somewhat more relevant in smaller jails. Implications for correctional policy and training and avenues for continued research are discussed.
... This problem appears to be especially, although not uniquely, common among survivors of date rape (Alvidrez, 1999;Ullman & Brecklin, 2002). Similarly, accusatory and demeaning social attitudes may drive a sizeable proportion of survivors to isolate themselves from loved ones, friends, and family for on many occasions rape myths are actually accepted and believed by survivors' close social and familial environment (Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Ullman, 1999). It is not uncommon to encounter victim-blaming on the part of those closest to the victim, in the form of dismay that she behaved in a certain way or failed to do one thing or another. ...
... The role of patriarchy and sexism is a fixture in many discussions about rape in marriage, including discussions involving women of faith or spirituality (see Dobash & Dobash, 1979;Frieze, 2005;Yllo & LeClerc, 1988). Sheldon and Parent (2002), for example, concluded that the more fundamentalist and sexist the clergy were, the more negative their attitudes toward rape victims. Jeffords ' (1984) often-cited study found that individuals with traditional sex-role attitudes are much less likely to believe that forced marital intercourse is undesirable than are persons with modern sex-role attitudes. ...
... Perhaps, gender is not the only driving factor when understanding the manner in which females ascribe blame. More specifically, the majority of studies support feminist theory in stating that gender is critical in explaining rape myths and attitudes toward victims (Nagel, Matsuo, McIntyre, & Morrison, 2005;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Bohner et al. (1993) found that there is support for the feminist hypothesis that the threat of rape serves to exert social control over women and maintain men's dominance. ...
Article
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Although research has been conducted on rape myth acceptance (RMA) and other factors associated with attribution formation, researchers have not yet determined how the combination of such factors simultaneously affects levels of victim blame and perpetrator blame. The current investigation recruited 221 students from an all-women's college to examine differences in blame attributions across RMA, victim gender, and perpetrator gender, and the relationship between the two parties (i.e., stranger vs. acquaintance). Results suggested that RMA, victim gender, and perpetrator gender account for a significant amount of variance in blame attributions for both victims and perpetrators. In sum, victim blame with female perpetrators was relatively consistent across levels of RMA, but increased substantially for male perpetrators as individuals endorsed higher levels of RMA. Perpetrator blame, however, was highest with male perpetrators when individuals endorsed low levels of RMA and lowest for male perpetrators when individuals endorsed relatively higher levels of RMA. Findings demonstrate the continued influence of RMA on blame attributions for both victims and perpetrators, and the stigma faced by male victims. More research is needed on the differing attributions of male and female victims and perpetrators, as well as differing attributions based on type of relationship. Such research will lead to a better and more thorough understanding of sexual assault and rape. © The Author(s) 2015.
... There is very little research on the role of religion in marital rape, but the existing research takes a negative view of the church's traditional role regarding the issue. Sheldon and Parent's (2002) study of the clergy's attitude towards rape victims found that "most clergy blame the victim and adhere to rape myths; therefore, they need to be more educated about sexual assault" (2002, p. 233). ...
Article
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We examined the coverage appearing in two Bahamian newspapers of the public debate regarding a proposed bill in 2009 to criminalize marital rape in The Bahamas. We examined the arguments that appeared in newspaper coverage to analyze the ways the newspaper media framed the debate and found that coverage of the debate was mixed but relied heavily on opinions and stereotypical beliefs rather than on facts.
... Similarly, accusatory and demeaning social attitudes may drive a sizeable proportion of survivors to isolate themselves from loved ones, friends, and family. For on many occasions, rape myths are actually accepted and believed by survivors' close social and familial environment (Sheldon & Parent, 2002;Ullman, 1999). It is not uncommon to encounter victim-blaming on the part of those closest to the victim, in the form of dismay that she behaved in a certain way or failed to do one thing or the other. ...
Article
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Rape is not only a vicious physical assault; it is similarly a horrific attack on the self. The violation of rape survivors’ innermost boundaries commonly injures their very core of being. Moreover, victim- blaming rape myths frequently magnify and deepen the original wounds. The result can be extreme and incessant guilt and shame that are often quite unresponsive to treatment. This paper seeks to address a gap in the literature concerning the treatment of the combined impact of rape and related internalized rape myths on survivors’ sense of self. Explicit guidelines for therapy are outlined in accordance. To be most effective, treatment must provide a therapeutic environment free of all prejudicial attitudes toward rape survivors, wherein rape-specific injuries to the self are directly and empathically addressed.
... Further contributing to their risk level, clergy usually receive limited training in mental health counseling and are often unfamiliar with community resources that might help them support victims of traumatic stress and crisis (Bruns et al., 2005;Foskett, Marriott, & Wilson-Rudd, 2004;Oppenheimer, Flannelly, & Weaver, 2004). As compared with social workers, clergy often lack professional education and/or training teaching them how to deliver the most effective treatment for individuals and families experienc-ing crisis and/or trauma (Bruns et al.;Fortune, 1994;Sheldon & Parent, 2002). Clergy reported feeling more competent to counsel individuals and families regarding issues of grief, death and dying, anxiety, and marital problems, and they reported feeling less competent to provide counseling for severe mental illness, depression, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, and suicide (Moran et al., 2005). ...
Article
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This study explores the relationship of personal and organizational characteristics, along with symptoms of depression, and clergy compassion fatigue, burnout, and potential for compassion satisfaction. Ninety-five clergy from a cluster of Lutheran churches in the Mid-Atlantic United States completed anonymous surveys. Results suggested that clergy were at low risk for burnout and moderate risk for compassion fatigue and they had a moderate potential for compassion satisfaction. Results further revealed that years in service and reported depression significantly predicted burnout. The model did not predict risk for compassion fatigue. Similarities and differences between social workers and clergy are discussed, with recommendations for collaboration and support between the two professions.
Article
Previous research suggests that free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs are strongly linked, yet ultimately distinct. Unfortunately, the most common measure of free will beliefs, the free will subscale (FWS) of the Free Will and Determinism Plus, seems to confound free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs. Thus, the present research (1,700 participants across two studies) details the development of a 2-factor FWS – the FWS-II – that divides the FWS into a free will subscale and a moral responsibility subscale. The FWS-II showed good fit compared to standard fit thresholds and superior fit compared to the original FWS. The moral responsibility subscale was moderately correlated with general punitive attitudes and specific punitive assignments, even when controlling for the free will subscale. Conversely, the free will subscale was moderately correlated with conservativism and religiosity, even when controlling for the moral responsibility subscale. These results provide evidence that the FWS is better suited – psychometrically, theoretically, and practically – as a 2-factor measure of free will beliefs and moral responsibility beliefs than as a 1-factor measure of free will beliefs.
Article
Prison rape can result in profound physical and psychological damage to inmates. Despite the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, prison rape incidents in the US have increased over 15 years. Previous research results have demonstrated that correctional officers who endorsed rape myths failed to enforce regulations, and they were apt to engage in sexual misconduct or sexual harassment directed toward inmates. It has been almost two decades since Eigenberg (2000) presented the mechanism explaining prison rape myths (PRM) among correctional officers. The present study revisits Eigenberg’s (2000) prison rape model using the survey data from 446 criminal justice (CJ) majors, 119 of whom expressed their interest in corrections as a desired career. For the most part, the findings in this study confirm that Eigenberg’s (2000) model is applicable to the PRM of CJ majors. However, no education effect in relation to PRM was found. Implications for recruitment, training, and education, as well as avenues for future research, are then discussed.
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The majority of research on victim decision making has focused narrowly on reporting to police neglecting other ways in which victims seek help after a victimization experience. Similarly, this research also focuses on only one crime at a time, typically sexual assault, or focuses broadly on categories of violent crime. This dissertation aims to explore variations in victim help-seeking by examining and comparing various combinations of formal disclosure. Moreover, this study compares two distinctly different yet comparable interpersonal violent crimes: sexual assault and robbery. In so doing, this study employs the Theory of the Behavior of Law to examine whether social structure predicts the decision to formally disclose across these two crimes. Using National Crime Victimization Survey data from 1996-2015 (n=3,095), logistic regression is employed to explore formal disclosure, police reporting, and exclusive victim agency usage among female sexual assault and robbery victimizations. The results found little theoretical support; however, results consistently indicated that crime type was strongly related to all strategies of disclosure. These findings suggest that the Theory of the Behavior of Law does not explain victim decision making. Theoretical and practical implications as well as avenues for future research are discussed.
Article
Purpose Contemporaneously, the crime of rape has experienced an increase in reporting. The majority of rape survivors continue to experience, however, extensive victimisation due to biased attitudes held by many people and organisations within the general population. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach In a quantitative study with a sample of 176 participants, this research aimed to explore sexuality and religiosity as factors that affect attitudes towards survivors of rape. Findings Results indicated that negative attitudes towards rape survivors could be predicted by rape myth acceptance. While the sexuality of the victim affected attitudes towards rape survivors and negative attitudes towards survivors were also found to be predicted by high religiosity scores, analyses concluded that both males and females perceived gay male victims with more negative attitudes in comparison to lesbian rape survivors. Male participants demonstrated, overall, more negative attitudes towards rape survivors than their female counterparts. In sum, sexuality and religiosity were concluded to be crucial factors in explaining blame attributions. Practical implications This study indicates: (1) the effect of social correlates other than gender on rape myths; (2) the effect sexuality has on the perception of rape myths; and (3) the effect religiosity has on the perception of rape myths. This study also reveals implications for the reporting, prosecution and conviction of rape cases that may be subject to bias and discrimination due to victim characteristics other than gender. Originality/value Attitudes towards rape survivors based on social correlates other than gender have received little attention within existing literature and research. This paper adds to this discussion by considering the affects of sexuality and religiosity which have implications for the reporting of such a crime.
Article
Victim blaming attitudes are prevalent within the criminal justice system where survivor behavior before, during, and following an assault is heavily scrutinized. Although dispositional characteristics (e.g., strength of one's justice motive) and characteristics of the assault (e.g., the type of relationship between a survivor and an offender) have been found to predict the degree of victim blaming, the effects of these variables on sexual assault myth endorsement are unclear. In addition, a variable that has not been examined in past literature is the degree of contact maintained between a survivor and offender after the assault. The purpose of the current study was to examine the extent to which the justice motive (strong vs. weak), the relationship between a fictional survivor and an offender (strangers vs. intimate partners), and contact between a survivor and offender postassault (contact vs. no contact) influenced endorsement of sexual assault myths. Undergraduate students read a vignette depicting a fictional sexual assault that varied with respect to the relationship and the amount of postassault contact between the survivor and offender and completed measures of the strength of their justice motive and their endorsement of sexual assault myths. Results indicated that participants ( N = 419) who held a strong justice motive showed higher endorsement of sexual assault myths. Participants were also more likely to endorse sexual assault myths when there was postoffense contact between the survivor and offender. The implications of these findings and their relevance to the criminal justice system are discussed, including the need for further research into the creation of survivor-oriented education and training capable of counteracting bias toward survivors of sexual violence and producing sustained attitudinal changes.
Article
Previous research has found that conservatives and liberals emphasize different moral foundations. The purpose of these two studies was to investigate whether moral foundations mediate the relationship between political ideology and attitudes toward rape among U.S. college students. In Study 1, moral foundations fully mediated the relationship between political ideology and rape myth acceptance. Study 2 generally replicated the results of Study 1, with binding foundations demonstrating the most consistent mediating effects. These results suggest that individual differences in moral decision-making may explain the relationship between political ideology and attitudes toward rape.
Article
Victims and survivors of sexual violence are sometimes blamed for the assault because of irrelevant factors such as how much they had to drink or what they wore. Research has indicated that conservative religious beliefs increase the prevalence of victim blaming. In order to see if this pattern extended to college administrators, we used a hermeneutic phenomenological approach and interviewed eight sexual assault investigators at a faith-based institution to understand their lived and shared experiences. Four significant themes emerged from our study: the tension between student care and a legally defensible process, hope amid a never-ending saga, forbidden knowledge, and victim blaming. We conclude with a call to focus more carefully on language used, recommendations for decreasing the prevalence of victim blaming, and on preventing investigators from compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and burnout.
Article
Objective: The majority of sexual assault cases reported to police are never prosecuted. Prior literature has suggested rape myths may explain these trends because police are influenced by and draw upon rape myths in their beliefs, assumptions, and actions. However, prior research has relied on surveys to measure police attitudes; less is known regarding the extent to which these attitudes manifest in official sexual assault case records. The purpose of the current study was to determine the extent to which rape myths manifest in sexual assault investigations and develop a typology of statements that functionally operate as rape myths in official police records. Method: The written police records from N = 248 sexual assault cases were examined. Cases were coded via directed and conventional content analysis for rape myths. Results: Statements in police records drew upon rape myths that denied or justified the assault on the basis of specific circumstances of the assault (i.e., circumstantial statements) and specific characteristics of the victim (i.e., characterological statements). Statements in police reports also blamed victims for the way police responded to the assault (i.e., investigatory blame statements). Conclusions: Rape myth endorsement among police is evidenced in official sexual assault case records because they invoke traditional rape myths in documenting their investigations. More frequently, police account for their response by blaming the victim for a poor police investigation postassault. Findings suggest that future research should examine the extent to which such statements predict sexual assault case progression and that training for police should emphasize behavioral change (i.e., report writing).
Article
The purpose of this article is to explore whether gender-blind sexism, as an extension of Bonilla-Silva's racialized social system theory, is an appropriate theoretical framework for understanding the creation and continued prevalence of rape myth acceptance. Specifically, we hypothesize that individuals who hold attitudes consistent with the frames of gender-blind sexism are more likely to accept common rape myths. Data for this article come from an online survey administered to the entire undergraduate student body at a large Midwestern institution (N = 1,401). Regression analysis showed strong support for the effects of gender-blind sexism on rape myth acceptance.
Article
In this book, the author takes a journey through both biblical and contemporary cultures, contemplating the commonality and diversity of rape survivors' experiences across space and time. In particular, the book evaluates the insidious and pervasive influences of the cultural myths and misperceptions surrounding sexual violence, which have long served to deny rape survivors a voice with which to relate their narrative of suffering. The author examines whether such 'rape myths' are likewise given voice within the biblical text of Genesis 34, where we encounter Dinah, a voiceless literary victim of sexual violence. When these myths do appear to be represented within the narrative, consideration is then given to the ways in which they may have shaped Dinah's literary experience of sexual violation and furthermore, contributed to her narrative silence. Appealing to the witness of contemporary rape survivors whose own testimonies of their experiences have been affected by such rape myths, the author then attempts to grant Dinah a literary voice with which to share her story. This book therefore attempts to provide a deeper insight into Dinah's literary silence within the narrative, in order that contemporary readers can better comprehend its significance and complexity and grant to it a rich and new meaning.
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This vignette study was conducted to determine how observers' beliefs about marital rape are altered by the knowledge of a prior history of husband-to- wife physical violence. Participants (n = 50 college students) read three different marital rape situations; in one situation the husband had been physically violent in the past; in another he had not. In the third situation, participants were not given any information about the physical abuse history between the spouses. As expected, participants blamed the victim most for the marital rape and minimized the seriousness of the rape when they had been told that there was not a prior history of husband-to-wife physical abuse. These findings suggest that observers use a physical violence history to establish the coercion needed to determine that marital rape had occurred. The legal implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
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Prejudice and discrimination against women has become increasingly subtle and covert (N. V. Benokraitis & J. R. Feagin, 1986). Unlike research on racism, little research about prejudice and discrimination against women has explicitly examined beliefs underlying this more modern form of sexism. Support was found for a distinction between old-fashioned and modern beliefs about women similar to results that have been presented for racism (J. B. McConahay, 1986; D. O. Sears, 1988). The former is characterized by endorsement of traditional gender roles, differential treatment of women and men, and stereotypes about lesser female competence. Like modern racism, modern sexism is characterized by the denial of continued discrimination, antagonism toward women's demands, and lack of support for policies designed to help women (for example, in education and work). Research that compares factor structures of old-fashioned and modern sexism and racism and that validates our modern sexism scale is presented. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The research addressed the influence of sex role stereotypes, victim and defendant's race, and the participants' relationship on perceptions of rape culpability by white respondents. Those who held traditional sex role stereotypes believed a rape victim to be more culpable than those with egalitarian stereotypes. In addition, respondents with traditional stereotypes perceived the defendant to be less culpable and less likely to commit a similar offense. Traditional stereotypes may contribute to a more stringent criteria for deciding that rape has occurred. Overall, respondents showed a bias against black rape victims and victims who had dated a black defendant. Rape defendants who had dated a black female were considered to be less likely to commit a similar act in future; thus, the propensity to rape was considered situationally specific.
Article
The primary purpose of this study was to examine whether self-blame mediates the relations between various predictor variables and postrape trauma. To answer this question archival data collected from a sample of 25 rape victims seen at a hospital-based rape crisis program were analyzed. Results suggested, first, that self-blame was significantly related to postrape depressive symptoms. Second, both prior mental health problems and prior victimization were also associated with increased postrape depression. Correlations between these predictor variables and self-blame suggested that only prior incest was associated with self-blame as well as depression. Regression analyses testing whether self-blame mediated the relation between incest and postrape depression were consistent with the interpretation that incest victims tend to engage in more self-blame and, as a result, are more depressed. The implications of these findings for both research and practice are discussed.
Article
The paper describes the construction of a 25-item Attitudes toward Rape Victims Scale (ARVS) designed to assess favorable and unfavorable attitudes with particular emphasis on victim blame, credibility, deservingness, denigration, and trivialization. Normative data are presented as well as the results of various psychometric analyses based on four independent studies and a variety of samples including university students, doctors, lawyers, social workers, psychologists, and police in Singapore, and university students in the United States. These analyses confirm the ARVS's reliability, validity and cross-cultural suitability. As attitudes toward rape victims have been implicated in the quality of victim care in legal, medical, and social spheres, it is proposed that the ARVS provides a valuable tool for applied research in victimology.
Article
The present study investigated disclosure of sexual assault to members of one's social network in a convenience sample of sexual assault victims (N = 155) completing a mail survey. Three sets of correlates (demographics, assault characteristics, postassault experiences) of the timing of sexual assault disclosure and subsequent social reactions received from social network members were examined. Delayed disclosure was associated with childhood sexual assault history, completed rape, and avoidance coping, whereas early disclosure was associated with offender preassault alcohol use and postassault medical attention. Negative social reactions were more common among women who used avoidance coping and victims who told physicians or police about their assaults. Positive social reactions were associated with higher income, less physical injury due to the assault, less self-blame, less postassault distress, and saying that a friend/relative or a rape crisis center was helpful regarding the assault. Implications of these results for research and treatment of sexual assault survivors are discussed.
Article
The goal of the present investigation was to examine the extent to which assault and participant characteristics influence medical students' attitudes toward rape and nonsexual assault victims. First-and third-year medical students read narratives of three types of patients-a stereotypical rape victim, a victim of a robbery, and a nonstereotypical rape victim-and responded to an attitude questionnaire in reference to the victims in the narratives. The results of a series of ANOVAs showed that females had more favorable attitudes toward victims than males did and that medical students had more victim-blaming attitudes about a nonstereotypical rape victim than about either a stereotypical rape victim or a nonsexual assault victim. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to service delivery for rape victims and medical school curricula.
Article
Five studies of university students and their parents were carried out to investigate the relationships among right-wing authoritarianism, various indices of religious orientation, and prejudice. Measures of religious fundamentalism, and religious quest, developed for this research, proved to be psychometrically sound, and were good discriminators between prejudiced and unprejudiced persons, across a variety of different measures of prejudice and authoritarian aggression. Scores on both Religious Fundamentalism and Religious Quest scales also were correlated strongly with right-wing authoritarianism and the Christian Orthodoxy scale, although orthodoxy itself tended not to be correlated with prejudice. Apparently, religious fundamentalism and nonquesting are linked with authoritarianism and prejudice toward a wide variety of minority groups. Possible explanations for these relationships are discussed.
Article
A dimension of religiousness alternately referred to as orthodoxy or fundamentalism correlates more strongly with prejudice than do other religiosity measures. However, recent theoretical and psychometric work suggest that orthodoxy and fundamentalism should be distinguished both empirically and conceptually, and that the two variables may relate differentially to discriminatory attitudes toward various targets. Five samples of college students, representing three universities and colleges in the United States and Canada (total N = 426) completed several religion scales and measures of discriminatory attitudes toward blacks, women, homosexuals, and communists. Fundamentalism was correlated more positively than Christian orthodoxy with discriminatory attitudes toward all targets. In multiple regression equations, fundamentalism was positively related to all measures of discriminatory attitudes, whereas Christian orthodoxy and intrinsic religious orientation were either unrelated or negatively related to these variables.
Article
Four studies examined the effect of counterfactual thinking on reactions to rape victims and rape perpetrators. One determinant of counterfactual thinking is whether the event is preceded by an unusual or a usual occurrence. In Study 1, the behavior of a rape victim was varied in this regard, whereas, in Study 2, the behavior of a rape perpetrator was varied. In Study 3, the usualness and/or unusualness of both victim and perpetrator behaviors were varied within the same scenario. Results indicated that varying these antecedent conditions produced differential reactions to a variety of outcome measures, such as perceived avoidability, responsibility, regret, blame, and recommended prison sentence. In Study 4, these effects were found to generalize to a situation involving another proposed counterfactual antecedent: action versus inaction. Implications for counterfactual thinking and reactions to rape are discussed.
Article
Case reports purported to have come from the records of a sexual abuse care center were presented to 98 female and 107 male undergraduates who then judged the impact of the rape experience on the victims' psychological adjustment and indicated their likely counseling goals for her. Three types of rape circumstances (home blitz, outside blitz, acquaintance) were varied with 3 types of postrape manifest emotional reactions (upset–anger, upset–guilt, calm) and S sex. Upset victims were seen as having more serious and more long-lasting problems, were more likely to be encouraged to try and forget the incident, and were less likely to be encouraged to accept personal responsibility for the assault than were calm victims. Ss, especially men, evaluated victims' degree of emotional upset as a function of rape circumstances, with blitz-type assaults perceived as most upsetting. Consistent sex differences indicated that women were more sympathetic with and more willing to talk with rape victims than were men. Results are discussed in terms of popular assumptions about rape victims and sex differences in identification with and empathy for female rape victims. Implications for training of professional and paraprofessional counselors are noted. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study was designed to (a) examine the dimensionality of rape attitudes; (b) explore the relationships between perceptions of rape and background characteristics of rapists, police, female rape crisis counselors, and citizens; and (c) determine how these groups might differ with regard to rape attitudes. Data were collected from 1,448 Ss from the aforementioned groups using measures of Ss' attitudes toward and knowledge of rape, the Attitudes Toward Women Scale, and a personal data form. Results show that the groups were similar in their structures of rape attitudes. As predicted, sex, race, and marital status were the most important characteristics for predicting rape attitudes; within the respondent groups, however, other characteristics were found to be important. Significant differences were also found among the groups in their perceptions of rape. The counselors differed from the police, citizens, and rapists in their views of rape, while citizens and police were most similar. No differences were found between the police and rapists on half of the attitudinal dimensions. Implications of the results are discussed in terms of attitudes toward rape. (82 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
M. R. Burt (1980) concluded that acceptance of rape myths was strongly related to adversarial sexual beliefs, tolerance of interpersonal violence, and gender role stereotyping. However, the scales designed to assess these variables appear to share an emphasis on hostile attitudes toward women. Using alternative measures and 3 samples of undergraduates ( N = 429; 199 men and 230 women), the authors demonstrated that hostility toward women can partially account for the relation of the various Burt constructs with rape myth acceptance. In addition, a direct measure of hostility toward women exhibits considerably more predictive power among men than women, suggesting that rape myths may function differently for men and women and that there is significant utility in exploring a more broadly defined construct of misogyny for understanding the acceptance of sexual violence toward women. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Stepwise multiple regression analyses that involved measures of value importance, age, sex, education, and income as the independent variables were conducted. It was hypothesized that conservative people would emphasize values concerned with attachment to rules and authority and ego defense (e.g., security, cleanliness, obedience) and downgrade values concerned with equality, freedom, love, and pleasure as well as open-minded, intellectual, and imaginative modes of thought. This hypothesis was confirmed by the results from 2 independent surveys involving families in metropolitan Adelaide, Australia, (Sample 1, 1972) and the families of students at a university (Sample 2, 1976–1977). Ss in both samples completed the Rokeach Value Survey and the Wilson-Patterson Conservation Scale and provided background and demographic information. In addition to the values, age, and sex were significant predictors, with older respondents tending to be more conservative than younger ones and females more conservative than males. Education and income of the heads (Sample 1) and fathers (Sample 2) of families played a minor role in prediction. Results support both the cognitive learning and psychodynamic explanations of value–attitude relationships. (30 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Factor analyzed the revised Attitudes Toward Rape questionnaire (H. S. Feild; see record 1979-06211-001) and analyzed data from both pretest and posttest administrations. Two scales of victim-blaming or denial and perceptions of factual information were used as both pretest and posttest data. These scales were intended to assess the effectiveness of 2 treatment interventions to alter the perceptions of 51 female and 45 male undergraduates about acquaintance rape. Analysis revealed that on the victim-blaming or denial scale, men showed a significantly greater change in responses from pretest to posttest. For men, both treatments raised scores on both scales compared with a control group that had no intervention. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study examined the effects of attitudes toward women, rape schemas, and victim resistance on rape attributions in a hypothetical rape scenario. One hundred twenty-eight female subjects participated in the investigation. In line with the hypotheses, a 2 × 2 × 2 (Traditional vs. Nontraditional Attitudes × Sex vs. Power Schemas × Presence vs. Absence of Resistance) ANOVA demonstrated a significant interaction effect between rape schemas and victim resistance for rape attributions. As predicted, those who held sex schemas of rape attributed less fault and responsibility to resisting, compared to nonresisting, victims. In addition, they attributed more fault and responsibility to the nonresisting victim than did those who held power schemas. Rape schemas and victim resistance exerted an interactive influence on perpetrator attributions. Although attitudes toward women did not affect victim attributions, traditional women attributed less fault and responsibility to perpetrators than did nontraditional women.
Article
Reactions to an acquaintance rape scenario were examined for effects of respondent gender and portrayals of different levels of alcohol intoxication on attributions of responsibility and blame. Comparisons of conditions in which both victim and perpetrator were described as experiencing equivalent levels of intoxication revealed that participants rated the victim as more, but the perpetrator as less, responsible and blameworthy after consuming alcohol-particularly when drinking was accompanied by clear signs of behavioral impairment. In contrast, when the victim was more intoxicated and impaired than her assailant, intoxication of the perpetrator did not serve to excuse his behavior, but actually incriminated him more. Women generally assigned more blame to the victim. Individual differences in rape myth acceptance also influenced attributions.
Article
This study, including female (n = 355) and male (n = 179) college students, investigated the role of gender, gender role identity, rape myth acceptance, and time of initial resistance in assigning blame to the victim, perpetrator, situation and chance following an acquaintance rape, and perceived degree of avoidability of the assault. Approximately 94% of the participants were White. Men and women low in rape myth acceptance attributed significantly less blame to the victim and situation, more blame to the perpetrator, and were less likely to believe the assault could have been avoided. When time of initial resistance occurred early in the encounter, men and women attributed significantly less blame to the victim and situation, more blame to the perpetrator, and were less likely to believe the sexual assault could have been avoided.
Article
The present study compares the importance of the characteristics of the rape victims to the characteristics of observers in the attribution of blame in rape cases. Both blame of the victim and blame of the rapist are considered, along with seriousness of the crime, perceived norm violation, respectability, behavioral intentions toward the victim, and behavioral intentions toward the rapist. A factorial design is applied to data collected from 389 college students. Rape is found to be rated serious independently of any factors. Gender relates only to behavioral intentions, while sex-role attitude relates to respectability of the victim, blame of the victim, and blame of the rapist. No substantial statistical interaction effects are found. The findings of the research suggest the need to consider observer characteristics in order to understand the attribution of blame and social perceptions in rape cases.
Article
According to a legal model of the attribution of responsibility for rape, judgments of physical and psychological causality of an alleged rapist are combined into overall evaluations of attacker responsibility. It was hypothesized that observers evaluate psychological causality by reconstructing the thought patterns of the accused rapist and by classifying this mental activity along dimensions of responsibility. Subjects read crime briefs, rated dimensions of responsibility, and assigned sentences. Factor analysis and analyses of variance indicate that observers organize psychological causality of the rapist around dimensions of intended violence, and the extent to which the attacker's thoughts are attributable to the victim. Multivariate analysis of variance confirmed the expected effects of the attacker's thoughts on judgments of culpability.
Article
A general formula (α) of which a special case is the Kuder-Richardson coefficient of equivalence is shown to be the mean of all split-half coefficients resulting from different splittings of a test. α is therefore an estimate of the correlation between two random samples of items from a universe of items like those in the test. α is found to be an appropriate index of equivalence and, except for very short tests, of the first-factor concentration in the test. Tests divisible into distinct subtests should be so divided before using the formula. The index [`(r)]ij\bar r_{ij} , derived from α, is shown to be an index of inter-item homogeneity. Comparison is made to the Guttman and Loevinger approaches. Parallel split coefficients are shown to be unnecessary for tests of common types. In designing tests, maximum interpretability of scores is obtained by increasing the first-factor concentration in any separately-scored subtest and avoiding substantial group-factor clusters within a subtest. Scalability is not a requisite.
Article
Considerable research suggests that social support plays a crucial role in coping with stressful life events. The present study used data from 3,132 randomly selected survey respondents to investigate the use and helpfulness of seven potential social support sources in coping with a particular life crisis: sexual assault. About two-thirds of the 447 sexually assaulted respondents had told someone about the assault. Over half had talked to a friend or relative (59.3%). Fewer respondents consulted police (10.5%), mental health professionals (16.1%), physicians (9.3%), clergy (3.9%), rape crisis centers (1.9%), and legal professionals (1.6%). Assault by a stranger, physical threat, fighting against the assailant, a high degree of sexual contact, and emotional distress concerning the assault were associated with talking about the assault, especially with police and physicians. Most of those who told someone found at least one person helpful (73.8%). Rape crisis centers (94.2%) and legal professionals (82.7%) were most frequently described as helpful, followed by mental health professionals (70.1%), friends and relatives (66.6%), clergy (63.1%), physicians (55.6%), and police (38.2%). Results are compared to previous findings, and implications for research and intervention are discussed.
Article
This paper reviews the effects on subjects' judgements of a variety of factors that have been included in experimental depictions of rape. The focus is on attribution of responsibility or fault to the victim or attacker and related judgements, particularly regarding guilt and sanctions. Generally, females make more pro-victim judgements than do males, and people with non-traditional sex-role attitudes make more pro-victim judgements than do holders of more traditional views. Other factors covered are various victim characteristics, victim-attacker acquaintance, resistance, and victim attire and a range of behaviours prior to the attack. These 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 reliable effects on judgements, which it is argued are explainable in terms of their link with traditional beliefs about women's rights and roles. Males have often been found to be more susceptible to these effects. In particular, it appears that if a female engages in any behaviour deemed to be 'incautious' that results in victimization then she may be perceived to be at fault, even though these behaviours would be 'legitimate' for males, and that prior romantic involvement with the attacker mitigates the perceived seriousness of, and may even be seen as supplying justification for, a sexual attack. The existence of these attitudes implies that rape may be tacitly condoned in many situations.
Article
Senior baccalaureate nursing students (N = 180) read an account about a rape victim depicted as having driven to a drugstore on a legitimate errand. There were six versions of the rape, in which the victim either locked or failed to lock her car door (carelessness manipulation) and in which the rape occurred at 5:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. or midnight. Subjects reading the Unlocked version (as compared to those getting the Locked version) regarded the victim as more likely to be predisposed to get into situations like rape, liked and identified with the victim significantly less, and viewed her as more careless and responsible for the rape. Time of attack also significantly affected attributions about predisposition to get into situations like rape, carelessness, and responsibility, with the victim rated most negatively in the midnight version.
Article
The purpose of the present research is to investigate variables involved in deciding that rape has occurred and to test a model of the decision process of rape attribution in a dating situation. Male and female subjects were presented with a detailed description of a date in which the male used low or moderate force to obtain sex, after the female began to protest either early, moderately, or late during foreplay. Her protest consisted of just pleading or pleading plus physically struggling. The "true" experiment was analyzed by means of AOV and path analysis. Subjects were more likely to blame the woman and to perceive her as desiring sex with low force and late onset of protest. The man was viewed as more violent and the incident more likely to be viewed as rape when there was more force, more protest and earlier onset. Attitudes toward women was a significant predictor of all dependent variables and no overall sex differences were found. We concluded that the attributions of the male's violence and the female's desire for sex are difinitional components of rape and/or intervening variables, caused by the manipulated variables and in turn causing the perception of rape. Because experimental manipulations were shown to affect more than one cognition an argument was made for developing causal models including situational and cognitive intervening variables in predicting final attributions. The benefits of using "weak" manipulations were discussed.
Article
Recent studies of rape have emphasized the attractiveness of the victim as a determinant in people's judgments of the victim's blameworthiness. The present study provided 120 undergraduates with four hypothetical rape stories in which the victim's pre-rape behavior and attractiveness were independently varied. The results indicate that the victim's attractiveness is not a determining factor of the victim's blameworthiness when subjects are given descriptions of victim's pre-rape behavior. The results were discussed in the context of a “just world” hypothesis.
Article
Two studies examined the impact of variations in a rape victim's emotional reactions on others' perceptions of her. The victim was presented as emotionally expressive or emotionally controlled. In one study written descriptions were used, while in the second, videotape presentations were employed. In both studies, the emotionally expressive victim was rated as more credible. In the videotape presentation, additional differences indicated that the emotionally controlled victim is perceived as having less aversion for the rape and was liked less. Results are discussed in terms of observers' expectations concerning rape victim reactions and the social climate after a rape.
Article
Are victims seen by nurses as being more responsible for the occurrence of a rape than for the occurrence of a violent nonsexual crime? If so, what are some of the determinants of victim blame? The present study considers how judgments made by hospital nurses (N = 312) regarding victim responsibility are influenced by the type of crime (i.e., rape or beating), the victim's marital status, her dress, her relationship with the assailant, evidence of her resistance, the extent of her injuries, and psychological attributes and sociodemographic characteristics of the nurse. Evaluations of victim responsibility were elicited through the use of vignettes. Findings suggest that although nurses make relatively similar assignments of blame to rape and beating victims, the assignment of blame differs significantly for those victims described as 'respectable' (married, wore print dress, was not acquainted with assailant, struggled with assailant, suffered serious injuries) and those described as 'disrespectable' (divorced, wearing halter top and shorts, casual acquaintance of assailant, no struggle, minor scratches as a result of the crime). Psychological attributes of the nurse emerged as the strongest predictors of victim blaming.
Article
This article describes the "rape myth" and tests hypotheses derived from social psychological and feminist theory that acceptance of rape myths can be predicted from attitudes such as sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, sexual conservatism, and acceptance of interpersonal violence. Personality characteristics, background characteristics, and personal exposure to rape, rape victims, and rapists are other factors used in predictions. Results from regression analysis of interview data indicate that the higher the sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, and acceptance of interpersonal violence, the greater a respondent's acceptance of rape myths. In addition, younger and better educated people reveal less stereotypic, adversarial, and proviolence attitudes and less rape myth acceptance. Discussion focuses on the implications of these results for understanding and changing this cultural orientation toward sexual assault.
Article
Variables that may affect attribution of responsibility and blame were explored to assess whether societal stereotypes about rape victims still exist among students in Alaska. In ambiguous crime situations, more blame was attributed to victims and less responsibility to perpetrators if the subjects had traditional views about women's roles. The victims were rated as being more responsible for a theft than for a rape, but the perpetrators were rated as being more responsible for a rape than for a theft. Overall, type of crime affected social judgments. Attitudes toward women affected the attribution of blame, but not fault, in ambiguous crime situations.
Article
Surveys containing a measurement of acceptance of rape myths were mailed to 310 prosecuting attorneys from 87 counties in Ohio. Among the 182 (58.7%) participants who responded, self-reported acceptance of rape myths was low. Males endorsed rape myths more strongly than females, but the sex differences were small in magnitude. No demographic variables were significant in predicting the acceptance of rape myths in a regression analysis. The current findings are informative because they provide the only direct measure of prosecutors' attitudes towards rape victims that have been reported in the past 15 years.
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The present study investigated whether the type of social reaction(s) experienced by sexual assault victims varies according to the type of social support provider told about the assault in a convenience sample of victims (N = 155) completing a mail survey. Both closed-ended data and open-ended written responses were analyzed to determine the types of social reactions victims experienced from a variety of informal and formal support providers. Tangible aid/information support was reported more often from women disclosing to rape crisis centers, police, and physicians, whereas emotional support/validation was commonly reported by those telling rape crisis centers. Being blamed, treated differently, distracted, and discouraged from talking about the assault were more common responses for women telling physicians or police. Analyses exploring whether the impact of social reactions on victim adjustment varied according to support provider type showed that, as hypothesized, emotional support from friends was related to better recovery than emotional support from other support sources. However, contrary to expectation, the impact of victim blame on adjustment did not vary according to type of support provider. Implications for research on social support and clinical treatment of sexual assault victims are discussed.