We used an analogue experimental method to assess how undergraduate students from two universities in the southwestern United States (n = 241) would perceive same gender peers disclosing a history of sexual abuse in childhood (CSA), in comparison to those disclosing a death of their mother or of a pet. Consistent with hypotheses, males perceived a peer disclosing CSA less positively than peers disclosing the other two histories. Women’s perceptions were less globally negative, with anticipations that peers disclosing CSA would have poorer health and interpersonal adjustment, but strengths in coping and likeability. We also examined participants’ expectations of how a peer would evaluate their own self description, finding gender differences and differences based upon personal history of CSA.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 21, 2009
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