Minimizing the seriousness of rape through sexism and gender-role traditionality

Rape perception and the function of ambivalent sexism and gender-role traditionality

From Journal of Interpersonal Violence

This article examines the role of sexism and gender-role traditonality in minimizing the seriousness of rape. It recognizes how the perceptions and attitudes of others are important components of the victim’s recovery. In some cases, rape victims suffer not only from the actual assault but also from the negative reactions of the people around them. Cultural attitudes that promote false beliefs about rape and a hostile climate toward rape victims significantly contribute to negative perceptions.

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Abstract

This study explores the roles of benevolent sexism (BS), hostile sexism (HS), and gender-role traditionality (GRT) in minimizing rape, blaming the victim, and excusing the rapist. As predicted, hostile sexists minimize the seriousness of the rape in both stranger and date-rape scenarios. In the victim-blame scale, both BS and GRT significantly moderate victim blame in a date but not stranger scenario. BS and GRT moderate the perpetrator-excuse measure in a date scenario but HS is the significant moderator in a stranger scenario. These results show that external observers make different assumptions about a rape incident based on their GRT, BS, and HS levels in different victim-perpetrator relationships.

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Article details:
Niwako Yamawaki (2007). Rape Perception and the Function of Ambivalent Sexism and Gender-Role Traditionality Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 22 (4), 406-423 : 10.1177/0886260506297210

     
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