This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effects of Sexist Language on Attribution of Blame Following Sexual Assault




Lively, Lisa

Type of Degree



Counseling Psychology


This study investigated the relationship between the sexist language used to describe women, whether that language was presented implicitly or explicitly, and blame ratings following the reading of an acquaintance-based sexual assault scenario. Participants (N=191) were implicitly or explicitly primed with hostile sexist, benevolent sexist, or neutral language and then asked to rate perpetrator and victim blame following a sexual assault scenario. Results indicate that while participants were successfully primed with the language, there was no statistically significant difference in blame ratings between the explicit and implicit priming conditions. Additionally, the language condition (hostile, benevolent, neutral) did not significantly alter participants’ blame ratings.