Effects of offender motivation, victim gender, and participant gender on perceptions of rape victims and offenders

Damon Mitchell, D. J. Angelone, Brittany Kohlberger, Richard Hirschman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

The primary purpose of the present study was to examine whether knowledge of the motivation of an offender can influence participant perceptions of victim and perpetrator responsibility for a sexual assault. In addition, the synergistic influence of victim gender and participant gender with offender motivation was explored. Participants were 171 men and women from a small Northeastern college exposed to a stimulus in which a rapist's motivation was varied as either sexual or violent. Participants were more certain that the stimulus described a rape, recommended a longer prison sentence for the offender, and assigned less blame to the victim when exposed to an offender motivated by violence as opposed to an offender motivated by sex. Offender motivation also interacted with participant gender and victim gender on participants' perceptions of victim blame and offender responsibility. The results suggest that an offender's motivation for rape can influence perceptions of the offender's and victim's responsibility for the assault.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1564-1578
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume24
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of offender motivation, victim gender, and participant gender on perceptions of rape victims and offenders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this