Sex Roles

, Volume 54, Issue 9–10, pp 639–649

The Case of the Guilty Victim: The Effects of Gender of Victim and Gender of Perpetrator on Attributions of Blame and Responsibility

  • B. J. Rye
  • Sarah A. Greatrix
  • Corinne S. Enright
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11199-006-9034-y

Cite this article as:
Rye, B.J., Greatrix, S.A. & Enright, C.S. Sex Roles (2006) 54: 639. doi:10.1007/s11199-006-9034-y


This study was designed to investigate the effects of gender on attributions of blame, responsibility, and recommended sentencing in a sexualized crime scenario with a 2 (perpetrator gender) by 2 (victim gender) by 2 (participant gender) between-subjects design. There was an interaction of gender of perpetrator and gender of victim such that female victims were held less responsible and their perpetrators were judged more harshly, especially when the perpetrator was male. Male victims were held the most responsible, especially when the perpetrator was male. Individual difference analyses indicated that attitude toward sexual minorities was the best predictor of judgments. Belief in a just world was not predictive of dependent measures. Attributions of blame and perceived defense adequacy were predictors of assigned penalty.


Blame Perpetrator Attribution 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. J. Rye
    • 1
  • Sarah A. Greatrix
    • 2
  • Corinne S. Enright
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySt. Jerome’s University at the University of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of LawUniversity of WindsorWindsorCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-PlattevillePlattevilleUSA

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