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Rape victim and perpetrator blame and the Just World hypothesis: The influence of victim gender and age

Journal article
Authors Leif Strömwall
Helen Alfredsson
Sara Landström
Published in Journal of Sexual Aggression
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 207-217
ISSN 1355-2600
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 207-217
Language en
Keywords Belief in a Just World, perpetrator blame attributions, rape victim age, rape victim gender, secondary victimisation, victim blame attributions
Subject categories Psychology, Applied Psychology


Victims of rape are sometimes blamed for the assaults against them. Research has examined primarily female victims; much less is known about men as victims and whether victim age affects attributions of victim blame. Furthermore, the study investigated the effects of Belief in a Just World (BJW) on blame attributions. Employing a vignette-type experimental study with a 2 (gender of participant)×2 (victim's gender)×2 (victim's age)×2 (participant BJW score) between-subjects design and several measures of blame attributions towards victim and perpetrator as dependent variables, a community sample (n = 164) participated. The main results were as hypothesised, namely that young male victims were attributed more blame, particularly by participants scoring high on BJW. Overall, victim blame level was low and perpetrator blame was high, and BJW was a powerful predictor of blame attributions.

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Utskriftsdatum: 2020-08-11