We explore how attitudes, attributions of fault, and emotions are related to female and male college students’ intended responses to rape. Unlike past work which has examined these factors individually, we study them simultaneously to better understand how they co-occur in the real world. One hundred and five female and 74 male U.S. students from a university in New England read a short description of a female college student’s experience of rape and answered questions about their reactions. Results demonstrate that female participants reported higher attitudes towards feminism, lower rape myth acceptance attitudes, higher attributions of fault to society for the rape, and higher feelings of anger and fear in response to the rape than male participants. Further, gender, attitudes towards feminism, rape myth acceptance attitudes, attributions of fault to society, and fear emerged as predictors of desire to engage in anti-rape collective action. In contrast, gender, rape myth acceptance attitudes, attributions of fault to the male perpetrator, and anger emerged as predictors of reported likelihood of helping the survivor of rape. Results suggest that although female college students are more likely to intend to engage in anti-rape collective action and help survivors of rape, the processes whereby attitudes, attributions of fault, and emotions relate to intended responses to rape are largely similar for female and male college students.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2010
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