Title

Perceptions of rape: the roles of gender and victim/perpetrator relationship

Poster Number

19

Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Artist Statement

Though rape can occur in a variety of relationships, its effects are sometimes minimized depending upon the victim/perpetrator relationship and the gender of the person assessing the situation. In 2000, Monson, Langhrichsen-Rohling and Binderup found that participants were less critical of a fictitious rape that occurred between a married couple than between a dating couple. In addition, Simonson and Subich (1999) determined that females were less likely than males to minimize a fictional rape. In the present study, participants read a vignette that portrayed a heterosexual rape that occurred between a couple that was dating, married, or acquainted (in each vignette the aggressor was male) and their perception of the violation was then measured on a Likert-scale questionnaire. Also, the participants selected the term, from five options, that they believed best characterized the aggression. The results indicated that females were significantly more likely than males to rate the perpetrators’ behavior as aggressive. In addition, females used the term rape to describe the violation that occurred in the marriage vignette less often than they did in other vignettes. This finding may have important implications in the design of future rape prevention programs.

Location

Pacific Geosciences Center

Start Date

24-4-2004 9:00 AM

End Date

24-4-2004 5:00 PM

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Apr 24th, 9:00 AM Apr 24th, 5:00 PM

Perceptions of rape: the roles of gender and victim/perpetrator relationship

Pacific Geosciences Center

Though rape can occur in a variety of relationships, its effects are sometimes minimized depending upon the victim/perpetrator relationship and the gender of the person assessing the situation. In 2000, Monson, Langhrichsen-Rohling and Binderup found that participants were less critical of a fictitious rape that occurred between a married couple than between a dating couple. In addition, Simonson and Subich (1999) determined that females were less likely than males to minimize a fictional rape. In the present study, participants read a vignette that portrayed a heterosexual rape that occurred between a couple that was dating, married, or acquainted (in each vignette the aggressor was male) and their perception of the violation was then measured on a Likert-scale questionnaire. Also, the participants selected the term, from five options, that they believed best characterized the aggression. The results indicated that females were significantly more likely than males to rate the perpetrators’ behavior as aggressive. In addition, females used the term rape to describe the violation that occurred in the marriage vignette less often than they did in other vignettes. This finding may have important implications in the design of future rape prevention programs.