Extant research consistently has shown that culpability attributions toward sexual assault victims are predicted by perceiver gender, perceived similarity to victims, empathy for victims, and rape myth acceptance. The purpose of the present study was to conceptually organize these predictors, which often have been treated disparately in literature. The present sample was composed of 69 female undergraduate students, recruited from a psychology research pool at a university in the southwestern United States. Results of a path analysis demonstrated strong empirical support for a hypothesized causal model linking perceivers’ sexual victimization histories and, in turn, perceptions of similarity to a sexual assault victim based upon these histories, to established predictors of perceivers’ culpability attributions toward sexual assault victims. Basic and applied research implications are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 22, 2010
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