Beyond Rape Myths: A More Complex View of Perceptions of Rape Victims
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This research examined personal beliefs and perceptions of cultural stereotypes surrounding rape victims. Students (ages 18–21) at a primarily Caucasian University listed either their personal beliefs or their perceptions of cultural stereotypes surrounding rape victims and rated a specific rape victim either according to their personal beliefs or their perceptions of cultural stereotypes. Personal beliefs about rape victims tended to focus more on perceptions of victim reactions to the rape (e.g., depression, anxiety, etc.) rather than on rape myths (e.g., she asked for it, was promiscuous, etc.). Perceptions of cultural stereotypes, however, comprised rape myths rather than the victim's reactions to rape. We propose that perceptions of rape victims are more multifaceted than has previously been suggested.
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