Victim and observer characteristics as determinants of responsibility attributions to victims of rape
- Two field studies were conducted lo investigate the influence of observer and victim characteristics on attributions of victim and assailant responsibility in a rape case. In the first study, male and female subjects completed a measure of rape myth acceptance and were presented with a rape account after which they were asked to attribute responsibility to victim and assailant. In the second study, a new sample was asked to attribute responsibility to victim and assailant on the basis of one of two rape accounts in which victim's pre-rape behavior was manipulated. Results showed that both rape myth acceptance and victims' pre-rape behavior in influenced the degree of responsibility attributed to victims and assailants. No significant effects of subject gender were found. A more complex conceptualization is suggested of the link between observer and victim characteristics in social reactions to and evaluations of rape victims.