Victim Blaming and Rape Myth Acceptance: Attitudes that Influence Advice-Giving to Victims of Sexual Assault
Type of Degreedissertation
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The current study investigated whether the consumption of alcohol, type of dress worn, and degree of resistance would influence whether or not people would advise a hypothetical rape victim to disclose her sexual assault to a close friend, family member, mental health professional, or report the sexual assault to the police. There were a total of 149 participants who participated in the study. Results indicated that, after controlling for rape myth acceptance, victim characteristics (i.e., alcohol, dress, resistance) in scenarios did not impact the likelihood of advisement of disclosure to a close friend, family member, mental health professional, or the police. Results indicated that there was a significant effect for resistance on assigned blame. The hypothetical perpetrator was blamed significantly more when there was a moderate level of resistance than when there was lower resistance. The victim was blamed significantly more when there was no resistance than when there was a higher level of resistance. Additional analyses found that participants were more likely to recommend that the victim disclose to a mental health professional than a close friend or family member. Also, participants were more likely to recommend that the victim report to a police officer than to a close friend or family member.