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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2011

Irina Anderson and Helena Bissell

This study seeks to examine whether blame and fault assigned to victims and perpetrators in a hypothetical sexual violence case are distinct conceptually, and whether they…

409

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine whether blame and fault assigned to victims and perpetrators in a hypothetical sexual violence case are distinct conceptually, and whether they are affected by gender of participant, perpetrator and victim.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants read an incident of either female or male rape, perpetrated by either a female or a male, and assigned attributions of blame and fault to both victims and perpetrators. Participants also completed Burt's Rape Myth Acceptance Scale.

Findings

Findings showed that none of the independent variables had any effect on victim attributions of blame and fault, only affecting blame and fault assigned to perpetrators. Perpetrators of male victim rape were assigned more blame than perpetrators of female victim rape. In terms of fault: male participants reduced the amount of fault that they attributed to female perpetrators relative to male perpetrators; and female participants increased the amount of fault that they attributed to female perpetrators relative to male perpetrators. In addition, greater endorsement of traditional sex‐role attitudes and rape myths was associated with higher rape victim blame.

Originality/value

Findings are discussed in relation to social norms, social categorisation theory and differential focus of specific rape victim vs rape victims in general.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 March 2022

Shalini Nataraj-Hansen and Kelly Richards

Victims of online fraud face a high level of blame from their families, friends, professionals, the broader community and often from themselves. Victims are commonly…

Abstract

Purpose

Victims of online fraud face a high level of blame from their families, friends, professionals, the broader community and often from themselves. Victims are commonly perceived as stupid, gullible and undeserving of justice. The reasons for this are under-researched, and there are currently no satisfactory explanations of why victim-blaming occurs so frequently in cases of online fraud. This paper aims to propose a potential theoretical explanation for the high level of blame experienced by online fraud victims.

Design/methodology/approach

Lerner’s Belief in a Just World (BJW) theory is posited as a helpful theoretical explanation for the high level of blame directed towards victims of online fraud.

Findings

This paper argues that Lerner’s BJW theory is a helpful framework for understanding the blame faced by victims of online fraud because it posits that behavioural responsibility (a trait commonly ascribed to online fraud victims) is central to perceived blameworthiness; and that compensation for a crime determines the level of blame directed towards victims. As victims of online fraud are exceptionally unlikely to receive any type of compensation (whether monetary or otherwise), BJW may help explain the blame directed towards victims.

Originality/value

Prior scholarship predominantly understands the blame faced by online fraud victims through the lens of Nils Christie’s (1986) “ideal victim” thesis. This paper presents an advance over this existing understanding by illustrating how BJW provides a more detailed explanation for victim blame in online fraud.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

Nicholas J. Chagnon

This chapter draws on feminist theorizing on rape culture and victim blaming, and proposes a concept, racialized victim blaming, as a useful tool for understanding…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter draws on feminist theorizing on rape culture and victim blaming, and proposes a concept, racialized victim blaming, as a useful tool for understanding discourse on state violence.

Methodology/approach

The concept of racialized victim blaming is applied to historically analyze the genesis of the carceral state, and deconstruct public debates on police shootings and immigration crises.

Findings

This chapter argues that racialized victim blaming is used as a discursive tool to legitimize and mystify state violence projects. Officials and the media use racialized logics and narratives to blame the victims of state violence for their own suffering, justifying continued or increased state violence.

Originality/value

The concept of victim blaming is most often associated with violence against women. Here I demonstrate that victim blaming is also a useful tool for understanding state violence, particularly when attention is given to the place of racializing narratives.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2012

Michelle Davies and Stephanie J. Boden

This study aims to investigate the sexual preference effect in depicted male sexual assault. Consistent with Davies et al., the study seeks to predict that males are more…

302

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the sexual preference effect in depicted male sexual assault. Consistent with Davies et al., the study seeks to predict that males are more blaming toward gay victims of male perpetrators and heterosexual victims of female perpetrators, while females would not blame the victim.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 200 participants read a hypothetical scenario depicting a case of the non‐consensual touching of an adult male, and then completed a victim blame scale.

Findings

Analysis of variance confirmed predictions. Results are discussed in relation to gender beliefs and homophobia. Suggestions for future work are proposed.

Originality/value

This study confirms the existence of the sexual preference effect in attributions toward male victims of sexual assault utilising a scenario depicting non‐consensual touching. These findings extend current knowledge in this growing area.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Paul Rogers, Michelle Davies and Lisa Cottam

This study investigates the impact that perpetrator coercion type, victim resistance type and respondent gender have on attributions of blame in a hypothetical child…

Abstract

This study investigates the impact that perpetrator coercion type, victim resistance type and respondent gender have on attributions of blame in a hypothetical child sexual abuse case. A total of 366 respondents read a hypothetical scenario describing the sexual assault of a 14‐year‐old girl by a 39‐year‐old man, before completing 21 attribution items relating to victim blame, perpetrator blame, the blaming of the victim's (non‐offending) parents, and assault severity. Overall, men judged the assault more serious when the perpetrator used physical force as opposed to verbal threat or misrepresented play as a coercive act. Men also deemed the victim's non‐offending parents more culpable when the victim offered no resistance, rather than physical or verbal resistance. Women judged the assault equally severe regardless of coercion type, although they did rate the victim's family more culpable when the victim offered verbal rather than physical resistance. Implications and ideas for future work are discussed.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Sarah Bothamley and Ruth J. Tully

The disclosure of private images with the intent of causing distress is often described as “revenge pornography”. In the UK, this newly legislated crime has received a…

2376

Abstract

Purpose

The disclosure of private images with the intent of causing distress is often described as “revenge pornography”. In the UK, this newly legislated crime has received a high level of media attention following several high profile cases, however, there is a paucity of research in this area. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 168 adults (UK general public) completed an online survey using a vignette approach. Views of the influence of perpetrator-victim relationship length and reason for termination were considered alongside perception of an offence, the necessity of police intervention, what extent revenge pornography creates psychological harm in victims, and victim blaming.

Findings

Perpetrator-victim relationship length and reason for relationship breakdown did not influence perceptions of victim blame. Participants believed that the situation described in the vignettes was likely to be an offence, and that police intervention is somewhat necessary. Participants believed that the scenario was “very likely” to create fear, and “moderately likely” to create psychological/mental harm in victims. In line with the literature relating to stalking and sexual assault, men blamed the victim significantly more than women. Furthermore, women rated police intervention as significantly more necessary than men.

Research limitations/implications

The public are recognising that revenge pornography is an offence, with consequences being fear and psychological harm, showing an awareness of the impact on victims. However, there are sex differences in the perceptions of revenge pornography and victim blaming, and this could be addressed by raising awareness of this crime. This research, which highlights that the public are aware of some of the harm caused, may encourage victims in coming forward to report such a crime.

Originality/value

There is a paucity of research into revenge pornography, and this study is one of the first in this area.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Soula Ioannou, Christiana Kouta and Angeliki Andreou

Health promotion can fall into a victim blaming approach and put social pressure on particular students who could be marginalized due to their personal, economical…

Abstract

Purpose

Health promotion can fall into a victim blaming approach and put social pressure on particular students who could be marginalized due to their personal, economical, cultural, social or ethnic characteristics, for example, students who are obese, drug users or HIV carriers. The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss ways in which the design of the newly reformed Cyprus Health Education Curriculum (CHEC) attempted to protect learners from victim blaming.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper describes and reflects on the learning objectives, teaching methods and teaching activities of the CHEC.

Findings

The paper gives specific examples of how the design of the CHEC attempts to ensure that the curriculum does not promote victim blaming. It describes learning objectives, content, suggested teaching methods and activities from three thematic areas of the curriculum which are particularly susceptible to victim blaming: “food and health”, “emotional health” and “family planning, sexual and reproductive health”. It discusses how the design of the CHEC attempts to encourage educators to address the underlying social and environmental determinants of health and thus avoid stigmatization.

Practical implications

The paper can be useful for curriculum designers and school educators. It describes how the design of a health education curriculum and health education lessons can refrain from burdening the individual with total personal responsibility for health behaviour and lifestyle.

Social implications

Understanding and implementing the basic learning themes and objectives of the CHEC has social and community implications. It promotes collective responsibility, emphasizing a non-blaming and community approach. The design of the CHEC challenges the idea of free choice, acknowledges the social determinants of health and promotes students’ empowerment as active members of society.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper lies in the description and reflection of the design of the first health education curriculum in Cyprus, which attempts to secure learners from victim blaming in its implementation. The aspects of the design of the CHEC described in this paper may be applicable to other European countries.

Details

Health Education, vol. 115 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-4283

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Guy Wishart

Many factors have been identified as being responsible for increasing the vulnerability of people with learning difficulties to sexual abuse. However, there has not been a…

Abstract

Many factors have been identified as being responsible for increasing the vulnerability of people with learning difficulties to sexual abuse. However, there has not been a great deal of debate about the term ‘vulnerability’. Here, an argument is developed that puts forward the case for a social model approach to understanding vulnerability, which avoids a focus on victim characteristics.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 October 2019

Jeff Gavin and Adrian J. Scott

Revenge pornography is a growing risk among adolescents and young adults. Often stemming from sexting, some victims of revenge pornography report experiencing victim-blame

Abstract

Purpose

Revenge pornography is a growing risk among adolescents and young adults. Often stemming from sexting, some victims of revenge pornography report experiencing victim-blame similar to that accompanying the reporting of rape. The purpose of this paper is to explore the assumptions that underlie attributions of victim-blame, with a focus on perpetrator and victim responsibility, as well as gendered assumptions surrounding sexting.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 222 UK university students (111 male, 111 females) read one of two versions of a hypothetical revenge pornography scenario, one involving a male victim of a female perpetrator, the other a female victim of a male perpetrator. They then responded to an open-ended question regarding responsibility.

Findings

Qualitative content analysis of these responses identified three inter-related themes: the victim’s behaviour, mitigating victim responsibility and minimising the behaviour.

Social implications

The majority of participants in this study attributed at least some responsibility to the victims of revenge pornography depicted in the scenarios. Sex of the victim played a less important role than assumptions around sexting.

Originality/value

The study suggests that victim-blame is linked to the consent implied by sharing intimate images with a partner, but is also mitigated by the normative nature of this relationship practice. There was some evidence that the experience of male victims of revenge pornography is trivialised. These findings have implications for e-safety and victim support.

Details

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-6599

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Kelly Birch Maginot and Soma Chaudhuri

What effect does strategic frame adaptation have on movement continuation and popularity? Using a comprehensive online dataset from three North American cities, we show…

Abstract

What effect does strategic frame adaptation have on movement continuation and popularity? Using a comprehensive online dataset from three North American cities, we show how SlutWalk’s continuous strategic adaptation of frames in response to criticisms and changing political and social climates has influenced its popularity over the past three years. SlutWalk’s initial “Shame-Blame” and “Slut Celebration” frames conveyed powerful messages that catalyzed protests and generated outrage mostly from young feminists during its formative phase. However, meanings of the term “slut” varied widely across racial, cultural, and generational contexts, causing the “Slut Celebration” frame to be problematic for some micro-cohorts of feminists and leading to a decline in protest participation after initial enthusiasm waned. The campaign responded to the criticisms by minimizing the use of the word “slut” and emphasizing the more transnationally resonant “Shame-Blame” and “Pro-sex, Pro-consent frames,” resulting in increased participation and continued prominence of the SlutWalk across North America.

Details

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

Keywords

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