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The effects of victim age, perceiver gender, and parental status on perceptions of victim culpability when girls or women are sexually abused
journal contributionposted on 2018-05-01, 00:00 authored by Bianca KlettkeBianca Klettke, David MellorDavid Mellor
This study investigated perceptions of victim culpability in sexual assaults against girls and women according to victim age, perceiver gender, and perceiver parental status. Overall, 420 jury-eligible participants completed an online survey recording their attributions of guilt, responsibility, and blame toward 10-, 15-, and 20-year-old girls and women in relation to sexual assault. Attributions of culpability were affected by whether the victim physically or verbally resisted the abuse, wore sexually revealing clothes, or was described as having acted promiscuously. Fifteen-year-old victims were perceived as more culpable for the abuse than 10-year-old victims. Implications of these findings are discussed.