Original Article

Sex Roles

, Volume 59, Issue 9, pp 713-725

First online:

Effects of Ingroup Bias and Gender Role Violations on Acquaintance Rape Attributions

  • Lisa A. HarrisonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, California State University Email author 
  • , Dawn M. HowertonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Tennesee
  • , Ashley M. SecareaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, California State University
  • , Chau Q. NguyenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, California State University

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Abstract

Two studies of ethnically diverse US college students from northern California examined whether ingroup bias and gender norm violations influence acquaintance rape attributions (Study 1, N = 118; Study 2, N = 140). Participants read vignettes depicting acquaintance rape and completed questionnaires. Victims were part of participants’ ingroup or outgroup. Study 1 manipulated the victim’s sexual history (chaste or promiscuous). Study 2 manipulated the victim’s alcohol use (sober or intoxicated). Ingroup victims were perceived more positively than outgroup victims if the victims were promiscuous or intoxicated. More guilt was attributed to rapists of ingroup victims than outgroup victims if the victims were promiscuous or intoxicated. Findings are examined in relation to ingroup bias and gender norm violations.

Keywords

Acquaintance rape Gender role violations Ingroup bias