Davies, Michelle, Rogers, Paul and Bates, Jo-anne
Blame Toward Male Rape Victims in a Hypothetical Sexual Assault as a Function of Victim Sexuality and Degree of Resistance.
Journal of Homosexuality, 55
This study investigates the impact of victim sexual orientation, the degree of victim physical resistance, and respondent gender on attributions of blame and assault severity in a hypothetical case of stranger-perpetrated male rape. One hundred eighty-three participants read a scenario depicting a rape in which the victim's sexuality and degree of resistance were both varied between-subjects before completing 12 blame attribution items. Overall, findings suggest that male respondents were less pro-victim than were females. While women generally attributed little victim blame and considered the assault very severe regardless of condition, men were influenced by both factors. Specifically, although men considered the assault severe, they blamed a gay victim more when he fought back against his attacker but, conversely, blamed a heterosexual victim when he did not fight back. Results are discussed in relation to homophobia and judgments about victim resistance during rape. Implications for treatment services are also considered.
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