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Attributions of victim blame in stranger and acquaintance rape: a quantitative study

Persson, S and Dhingra, K and Grogan, S (2018) Attributions of victim blame in stranger and acquaintance rape: a quantitative study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27 (13-14). pp. 2640-2649. ISSN 0962-1067

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Abstract

Aims and objectives: are to, on a sample of nurses and the general public, examine whether victim blame varies according to level of familiarly between victim and perpetrator. It also examines how Ambivalent Sexism (AS) and Rape Myth Acceptance (RMA) impacts on this. Background: Around one in five women will be victims of sexual assault during their lifetime. The majority are acquaintance rapes, and these victims are generally attributed more blame than victims of stranger rape. Research indicates that nurses hold similar attitudes on gender roles and victim blame as do the general public. Methods: Eighty-one participants read a story depicting a sexual assault of a woman by either a stranger or an acquaintance, and completed scales measuring victim blame, AS and RMA. Results: indicated that victim-perpetrator relationship, benevolent sexism (BS), hostile sexism (HS) and whether he participant was a nurse contributed to the variance in attributed victim blame. Hierarchical regressions revealed that whether or not the participant was a nurse contributed to the variance in victim blame in the acquaintance rape condition, and HS and BS contributed to the variance in victim blame in the stranger rape condition. Conclusions: This paper gives a novel insight into attitudes involved in victim blame in rape cases, and makes a unique comparison between nurses and the general public. Findings suggests that victim blame correlates primarily with aggressively sexist attitudes, and that nurses generally attribute more blame to the victim of acquaintance rape.

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