The research addressed the influence of sex role stereotypes, victim and defendant's race, and the participants' relationship on perceptions of rape culpability by white respondents. Those who held traditional sex role stereotypes believed a rape victim to be more culpable than those with egalitarian stereotypes. In addition, respondents with traditional stereotypes perceived the defendant to be less culpable and less likely to commit a similar offense. Traditional stereotypes may contribute to a more stringent criteria for deciding that rape has occurred. Overall, respondents showed a bias against black rape victims and victims who had dated a black defendant. Rape defendants who had dated a black female were considered to be less likely to commit a similar act in future; thus, the propensity to rape was considered situationally specific.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Gender Studies
- Social Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology