This study investigated the extent to which the alleged perpetrator's gender and the subject's mandated reporter status and acquaintanceship with sexual abuse affect judgments of the credibility of children's reports that they have been sexually abused. Eighty-one educators and 104 undergraduates read a brief vignette in which a child alleged that she had been sexually abused and the accused denied the allegation. Results revealed that males and females found the child equally credible, the allegations involving male perpetrators were believed more than allegations involving females, and that educators believed the allegations less than undergraduates. There was a significant interaction between gender of subject and gender of perpetrator that was not consistent with a hypothesized gender sympathy effect. No relationship between acquaintanceship with sexual abuse and credibility ratings was found.
Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 6, 2004
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