Attributes or deviation: the effect of gender stereotypes of blame and credibility

Shu, Vivien (2015). Attributes or deviation: the effect of gender stereotypes of blame and credibility Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Shu, Vivien
Thesis Title Attributes or deviation: the effect of gender stereotypes of blame and credibility
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Blake McKimmie
Total pages 130
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
People evaluate rape victims who deviate from the female stereotype negatively, which has subsequently contributed to a barrier in convicting perpetrators. However, as most rape victims are women, deviating from the female stereotype also implies a lack of feminine attributes. Therefore, it is unclear whether being gender incongruent or lacking feminine attributes, or possibly both, contribute to negative evaluations of victims and positive evaluations of perpetrators. The current study aimed to disentangle these two processes. Participants (N = 217) read a rape vignette and then completed a questionnaire regarding what they had read. In the vignette, the attributes of the victim were implied by the gender specific occupation that they occupied (nurse or engineer). To vary the victim’s deviance, the gender of the victim was manipulated (woman or man) to change whether the attributes were gender congruent or gender incongruent with the victim. This meant that a male victim was counterstereotypic when he had feminine attributes. It was found that participants attributed less guilt to the perpetrator and evaluated the victim more negatively when the victim lacked feminine attributes (engineer). However, an unexpected effect of gender was found where the male victim was perceived as more deviant than the female victim. Exploratory mediation analyses indicated that the relationship between victim gender and perpetrator blame, victim credibility, guilt likelihood, and consent was mediated by perceptions of gender stereotypicality. This indicates that the perceptions of deviance were important within this context of sexual assault. Therefore, it was tentatively concluded that deviation and lacking feminine attributes are both important when evaluating victims and perpetrators of rape. However, as the male victim was perceived as more deviant from his gender because he was a counter-stereotypical victim, further research is recommended to better disentangle victim stereotypicality, gender stereotypicality, and attributes in the context of sexual assault.
Keyword Gender

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Created: Tue, 29 Mar 2016, 11:04:42 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology