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A quantitative study looking at the effect of victimisation history disclosure and gender on blameworthiness assessments of child exploitation.

Fabian, Rebecca (2017) A quantitative study looking at the effect of victimisation history disclosure and gender on blameworthiness assessments of child exploitation. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Within recent years, media and public interest has grown surrounding cases of child exploitation here in the UK. However, individuals attributing blame to the victims has been reported within previous research (Menaker and Miller, 2012). This study aims to investigate whether including victimisation history and the gender of a victim of child sexual exploitation influences participants blameworthiness assessments. The study used a volunteer sample of 100 Manchester Metropolitan University students, all over the age of 18. The study utilised vignette scenarios followed by a questionnaire assessing culpability attributions. The results suggested that although the gender of the victim, and the interaction between gender and victimisation history was not significant, providing participants with the victim’s victimisation history did significantly reduce blameworthiness attributions. A belief in a Just World, Defensive attribution and the Culpable Control Model have all been used to investigate the mechanisms behind this change in blame assessment. Future research should aim to examine a selection of different victim and observer related variables, with reference to their effect on blame attribution.

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