Why do People Blame Victims of Abuse? The Role of Stereotypes of Women on Perceptions of Blame

Why do People Blame Victims of Abuse? The Role of Stereotypes of Women on Perceptions of Blame Stereotyping research suggests that traditional women (e.g., housewives) are seen as warm and weak, whereas nontraditional women (e.g., career women) are seen as lacking warmth but competent. We expected a nontraditional female abuse victim to be perceived as less warm than a traditional victim, and thus be blamed more in an abuse scenario. In an experiment, 118 Midwestern United States college students read a marital conflict in which the husband perpetrated high levels of psychological abuse. The victim’s gender role and reaction to the abuse each were manipulated. As expected, when the victim was nontraditional or she reacted negatively to the abuse (e.g., yelled back), she was rated more negatively and blamed more due to her lack of warmth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Why do People Blame Victims of Abuse? The Role of Stereotypes of Women on Perceptions of Blame

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-008-9488-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Stereotyping research suggests that traditional women (e.g., housewives) are seen as warm and weak, whereas nontraditional women (e.g., career women) are seen as lacking warmth but competent. We expected a nontraditional female abuse victim to be perceived as less warm than a traditional victim, and thus be blamed more in an abuse scenario. In an experiment, 118 Midwestern United States college students read a marital conflict in which the husband perpetrated high levels of psychological abuse. The victim’s gender role and reaction to the abuse each were manipulated. As expected, when the victim was nontraditional or she reacted negatively to the abuse (e.g., yelled back), she was rated more negatively and blamed more due to her lack of warmth.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jun 20, 2008

References

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