How similarity to a perpetrator affects reactions to sexual harassment

Hayley Miskin (2011). How similarity to a perpetrator affects reactions to sexual harassment Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Hayley Miskin
Thesis Title How similarity to a perpetrator affects reactions to sexual harassment
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Renata Bongiorno
Total pages 63
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Current research surrounding reactions to sexual harassment focuses on the victim. However, the literature generally fails to consider the impact of the perpetrator's characteristics on reactions to sexual harassment. In an attempt to provide some insight into this question, this study utilized a social identity theory approach to investigate the impact of perpetrator cultural similarity to an observer on reactions to both the victim and perpetrator of sexual harassment. Ninety-eight participants from an Anglo-Australian background were presented with a vignette detailing a scenario of sexual harassment with a female victim (always from the same culture as the observer) and a male perpetrator (from either a similar or different culture to the observer) and asked a series of questions surrounding reactions to and identification with the perpetrator and victim. Results show that participant gender had the biggest impact on perceptions of the perpetrator such that male participants were more likely to identity with the perpetrator and were also more likely to find the situation humorous. However, it was found that perpetrator culture had the biggest impact on reactions to the victim such that when the perpetrator was culturally similar to the participants, both genders were less likely to blame, derogate or socially distance themselves from the victim. Mediation analyses showed that perpetrator identification was a significant mediator of the relationship between participant gender and humour found in the situation. Mediation analyses also showed victim identification was a significant mediator of the relationship between perpetrator culture and victim blame and a partial mediator of the relationship between perpetrator culture and social distancing from the victim. Of particular interest was the finding that both male and female observers had more positive reactions toward the victim when the perpetrator was from a different culture. This suggests that the victim of sexual harassment may receive more support when the perpetrator is culturally different to observers.
Keyword Sexual harassment
Impact of perpetrator's characteristics on reactions

 
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Created: Wed, 20 Jun 2012, 14:05:27 EST by Mrs Ann Lee on behalf of School of Psychology