Psi Chi Journal: Summer 2002
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Responsibility and Victim Character in a Rape Scenario Manipulating Alcohol and Victim Persona
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by Rachel M. Ross, Molly D. Kretchmar, and Lisa A. Lawrence - Gonzaga University
Sixty-four college students (72% women) read 1 of 4 date rape scenarios, in which researchers manipulated victim condition (sober vs. intoxicated) and persona (bold vs. conservative), and responded to a series of questions that measured judgments of responsibility and victim character. As predicted, participants held the intoxicated victim more responsible for the rape than the sober victim and viewed the bold victim as more responsible than the conservative victim. Respondents held the offender less responsible when he aggressed against an intoxicated victim than a sober one. Finally, participants judged the drunk and bold victim's character least favorably. These findings indicate a continued need for education concerning judgments of rape victims.