Blaming the victim and exonerating the perpetrator in cases of rape and robbery: is there a double standard?

  • Research in legal decision making has demonstrated the tendency to blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator of sexual assault. This study examined the hypothesis of a special leniency bias in rape cases by comparing them to cases of robbery. N = 288 participants received descriptions of rape and robbery of a female victim by a male perpetrator and made ratings of victim and perpetrator blame. Case scenarios varied with respect to the prior relationship (strangers, acquaintances, ex-partners) and coercive strategy (force vs. exploiting victim intoxication). More blame was attributed to the victim and less blame was attributed to the perpetrator for rape than for robbery. Information about a prior relationship between victim and perpetrator increased ratings of victim blame and decreased perceptions of perpetrator blame in the rape cases, but not in the robbery cases. The findings support the notion of a special leniency bias in sexual assault cases.

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Metadaten
Author:Steffen Bieneck, Barbara KrahéORCiDGND
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus4-402907
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Humanwissenschaftliche Reihe (365)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of first Publication:2017/11/30
Year of Completion:2017
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2017/11/30
Tag:criminology; leniency bias; rape; robbery; victim blame
Pagenumber:13
Source:Journal of interpersonal violence 26 (2011) Nr. 9, S. 1785–1797. - DOI: 10.1177/0886260510372945
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Strukturbereich Kognitionswissenschaften / Department Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Peer Review:Referiert
Publication Way:Open Access
Grantor:Sage
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht