But She Was Unfaithful: Benevolent Sexism and Reactions to Rape Victims Who Violate Traditional Gender Role Expectations

  title={But She Was Unfaithful: Benevolent Sexism and Reactions to Rape Victims Who Violate Traditional Gender Role Expectations},
  author={G. Tendayi Viki and Dominic Abrams},
  journal={Sex Roles},
The role of benevolent sexism (BS) in accounting for victim blame in an acquaintance rape case was investigated. Participants were presented with vignettes that described an acquaintance rape. Control condition participants were given no descriptive information about the victim, whereas in the “cheating” condition the victim was described as a “married woman.” As predicted, participants who scored high in BS attributed more blame to the acquaintance rape victim who was assaulted during an act… 

Evaluating Stranger and Acquaintance Rape: The Role of Benevolent Sexism in Perpetrator Blame and Recommended Sentence Length

Two studies investigating the role of benevolent sexism (BS) in accounting for participants' responses to acquaintance vs. stranger rape perpetrators found that participants who scored high in BS attributed less blame and recommended shorter sentences for the acquaintance rape perpetrator.

Social Perception of Rape Victims in Dating and Married Relationships: The Role of Perpetrator’s Benevolent Sexism

Two hypothetical scenario studies examined how situational, perpetrator, and observer factors affect blame towards rape victims. In Study 1, Spanish high school students (N = 206) read about a rape

Attributions of victim blame in stranger and acquaintance rape: A quantitative study

Findings suggest that victim blame correlates primarily with aggressively sexist attitudes and that nurses generally attribute more blame to the victim of acquaintance rape.

Why do People Blame Victims of Abuse? The Role of Stereotypes of Women on Perceptions of Blame

Stereotyping research suggests that traditional women (e.g., housewives) are seen as warm and weak, whereas nontraditional women (e.g., career women) are seen as lacking warmth but competent. We

“She Deserved It”

The victim of non-sexual violence was blamed more than the rape victim, particularly if she had behaved in an overtly sexual manner, and male students’ reactions to male violence against women in intimate relationships were examined.

Hostile Sexism and Rape Proclivity Amongst Men

In the current study, we examined the influence of victim type and hostile sexism on men’s judgments about an acquaintance rape victim and their self-reported acquaintance rape proclivity. It was

Traditionalism and victim blaming

The pattern suggests that the relationship between traditional attitudes about gender roles and victim blaming is not be due to the victim’s violation of gender roles, and is due, in part, to the negative attitudes of some students to casual sex.

Rape Perception and the Function of Ambivalent Sexism and Gender-Role Traditionality

Results show that external observers make different assumptions about a rape incident based on their GRT, BS, and HS levels in different victim-perpetrator relationships.

Sexualization of Sexual Harassment Victims Reduces Bystanders’ Help: The Mediating Role of Attribution of Immorality and Blame

It is suggested that biased evaluations of workplace SH episodes associated with sexualized victims’ appearance, consistent with traditional masculine norms, may have detrimental consequences by increasing legitimization and tolerance toward SH.

Benevolent Sexist Ideology Attributed to an Abusive Partner Decreases Women’s Active Coping Responses to Acts of Sexual Violence

It is demonstrated experimentally that women’s responses are less active when they are exposed to information that indicates that the perpetrator is both high in benevolent sexism and highly attracted to his victim than when the latter information is not provided.



Perceptions of stranger and acquaintance rape: the role of benevolent and hostile sexism in victim blame and rape proclivity.

It is shown that benevolent sexism and hostile sexism underpin different assumptions about women that generate sexist reactions toward rape victims and that these assumptions are mediated by different perceptions of the victim.

The influence of victim's attire on adolescents' judgments of date rape.

Subjects who viewed the photograph of the victim in provocative clothing were more likely to indicate that the victim was responsible for her assailant's behavior, that his behavior was justified, and were less likely to judge the act of unwanted sexual intercourse as rape.

Victim and Observer Characteristics as Determinants of Responsibility Attributions to Victims of Rape1

Two field studies were conducted to investigate the influence of observer and victim characteristics on attributions of victim and assailant responsibility in a rape case. In the first study, male

Cultural myths and supports for rape.

  • M. Burt
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1980
Results from regression analysis of interview data indicate that the higher the sex role stereotyping, adversarial sexual beliefs, and acceptance of interpersonal violence, the greater a respondent's acceptance of rape myths.

Rape myths as neutralizing cognitions : evidence for a causal impact of anti-victim attitudes on men's self-reported likelihood of raping

Men's rape myth acceptance (RMA; prejudiced beliefs that serve to exonerate the rapist and blame the victim) has been shown to correlate positively with self-reported rape proclivity (RP). To explore

Beyond prejudice as simple antipathy: hostile and benevolent sexism across cultures.

These results challenge prevailing notions of prejudice as an antipathy in that BS (an affectionate, patronizing ideology) reflects inequality and is a cross-culturally pervasive complement to HS.

Rape and responsibility: How and how much is the victim blamed?

In two separate experiments, subjects made attributions after reading a brief description of a rape. Attributions of responsibility were made more strongly to the victim's character for unrespectable

Beliefs about rape and women's social roles

  • F. Costin
  • Psychology
    Archives of sexual behavior
  • 1985
Correlations consistently supported the hypothesis that beliefs about rape that place women at a disadvantage are positively related to beliefs that restrict the rights and roles of women in the authors' society.

Judgments of Rape

In law, the social context of rape is irrelevant. Yet legal studies have suggested that judgments of rape are influenced by the victim's relationship to the rapist and the victim's sexual history. In

The Ambivalent Sexism Inventory: Differentiating hostile and benevolent sexism.

The authors present a theory of sexism formulated as ambivalence toward women and validate a corresponding measure, the Ambivalent Sexism Inventory (ASI). The ASI taps 2 positively correlated