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The Effect of Sexism and Rape Myths on Victim Blame

Abstract

Rape myths are false beliefs about sexual violence that encourage blaming the victim and exonerating the offender. Within the framework of the Ambivalent Sexism Theory, we tested a model investigating the effect of each dimension of ambivalent sexism on the endorsement of each rape myth, and in turn the effect of each myth on the attribution of responsibility (to the perpetrator vs. to the victim) in case of sexual violence. Participants were 264 students (54.9% females). Results showed that hostile sexism toward women fostered the endorsement of each myth, whereas benevolence toward men enhanced the myth ‘He didn’t mean to’ and this increased the perception of the victim’s responsibility. Implications in developing interventions to de-construct rape myths are discussed.

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Correspondence to Chiara Rollero.

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The authors Chiara Rollero and Stefano Tartaglia declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Rollero, C., Tartaglia, S. The Effect of Sexism and Rape Myths on Victim Blame. Sexuality & Culture 23, 209–219 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-018-9549-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-018-9549-8

Keywords

  • Rape myths
  • Sexist attitudes
  • Victim blame
  • Structural equation modeling