What about the Male Victims? Exploring the Impact of Gender Stereotyping on Implicit Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions Associated with Intimate Partner Violence


Although intimate partner violence (IPV) is considered stereotypically as a gendered phenomenon, empirical evidence contradicts such gender asymmetry in reported rates of victimisation and perpetration. The current research explored the impact of stereotype priming on implicit attitudes associated with IPV victimisation (Study 1) and perpetration (Study 2), and further examined behavioural intentions associated with hypothetical gendered scenarios of IPV. Participants recruited in the United Kingdom were primed with either stereotype congruent, incongruent or no information about IPV victimisation (Study 1, n = 122) or perpetration rates (Study 2, n = 101). They then completed an Implicit Association Test and reported their subjective norms, self-efficacy, behavioural intentions, and outcome expectancies pertaining to different scenarios depicting gendered IPV. Findings indicate that priming an incongruent stereotype did not impact significantly on implicit or explicit attitudes toward IPV. Gendered scenarios were found to be influential on explicit attitudes, with IPV less likely to be identified toward male victims and considered more acceptable compared to when the victim was female. Moreover, individuals reported feeling more capable and likely to intervene in an act of IPV when the victim was female compared to male, were more likely to report such an incident, and anticipated greater outcomes. These findings highlight the need for an inclusive research approach that recognises men’s victimisation.

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Correspondence to Elizabeth A. Bates.

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Bates, E.A., Kaye, L.K., Pennington, C.R. et al. What about the Male Victims? Exploring the Impact of Gender Stereotyping on Implicit Attitudes and Behavioural Intentions Associated with Intimate Partner Violence. Sex Roles 81, 1–15 (2019) doi:10.1007/s11199-018-0949-x

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  • Intimate partner violence
  • Stereotypes
  • Implicit association test
  • Gender
  • Behavioural intentions
  • Domestic violence