Predicting Perceptions of Date Rape: An Examination of Perpetrator Motivation, Relationship Length, and Gender Role Beliefs

David J. Angelone, Damon Mitchell, Lauren Lucente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the current study is to examine the influence of multiple offender motivations (including no indication of a motivation), relationship length, and gender role beliefs on perceptions of a male-on-female date rape. A sample of 348 U.S. college students read a brief vignette depicting a date rape and completed a questionnaire regarding their attributions about the victim (culpability, credibility, trauma, pleasure) and perpetrator (culpability, guilt, sentencing recommendations). Results indicate that providing observers with information about the perpetrator's motivation was associated with lower victim blame. Relationship length is not predictive of rape attributions. Egalitarian gender role attitudes are associated with lower levels of victim blame. Overall, gender role attitudes exert a more significant influence on rape attributions than participant gender. The findings suggest that knowledge of an offender's motivation as well as observers' gender role attitudes can influence attributions about the culpability of victims and perpetrators of date rape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2582-2602
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume27
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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