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J Interpers Violence. 2004 Feb;19(2):143-61.

Social perception of rape: how rape myth acceptance modulates the influence of situational factors.

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University of Granada, Spain.


This study assessed the role of rape myth acceptance (RMA) and situational factors in the perception of three different rape scenarios (date rape, marital rape, and stranger rape). One hundred and eighty-two psychology undergraduates were asked to emit four judgements about each rape situation: victim responsibility, perpetrator responsibility, intensity of trauma, and likelihood to report the crime to the police. It was hypothesized that neither RMA nor situational factors alone can explain how rape is perceived; it is the interaction between these two factors that best account for social reactions to sexual aggression. The results generally supported the authors' hypothesis: Victim blame, estimation of trauma, and the likelihood of reporting the crime to the police were best explained by the interaction between observer characteristics, such as RMA, and situational clues. That is, the less stereotypic the rape situation was, the greater was the influence of attitudes toward rape on attributions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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