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Gender differences in attitudes toward rape victims and offenders

Cantwell, Alison (2019) Gender differences in attitudes toward rape victims and offenders. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Rape is the predominant form of sexual assault committed in Ireland yet is consistently underreported due to fears of being faced with unfavourable reactions such as rape myth acceptance (RMA), false beliefs about rape that blame the victim. Previous inquiries have identified males as being higher in RMA than females. Research thus far has primarily neglected attitudes towards male victims and offenders. The current research recruited a sample of Irish adults (N = 168) to investigate gender differences regarding RMA, alongside empathy levels towards offenders. Participants completed either the male or female version of the Attitudes towards Rape Victims Scale, the Rape Victim and Rape Perpetrator Empathy Scales. Analyses were run to inspect whether males are higher in RMA than females, if male victims are perceived more negatively than females, and if those high in RMA report higher empathy for offenders than victims. Results demonstrated no gender difference in RMA yet uncovered that males hold less empathy for victims than females. RMA was higher for male victims than female victims. No significant finding emerged regarding those higher in RMA reporting less empathy for victims than offenders. The current research has significant implications for juror decisions in rape trials alongside for rape prevention programmes.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Criminology > Crimes and Offences
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > Gender
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 30 May 2019 15:10
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 15:10

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