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A number of studies has focused on how the general public and professionals perceive rape victims (e.g., Buddie & Miller, 2001). Victims are attributed blame if they have been raped by an acquaintance or by someone they agreed to date (Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994). Rape myths, such as "Men cannot control their sexual urges" (Burt, 1991), tend to suggest that women are m A number of studies has focused on how the general public and professionals perceive rape victims (e.g., Buddie & Miller, 2001). Victims are attributed blame if they have been raped by an acquaintance or by someone they agreed to date (Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994). Rape myths, such as "Men cannot control their sexual urges" (Burt, 1991), tend to suggest that women are more responsible for preventing rape than men. People also tend to make judgments about rape victims based on whether the victims are visibly in distress or not. The current experiment restricted its investigation to the effect of victims' emotional state on their levels of blame and responsibility by police officers. Due to a small sample size (n = 47), examinations of appearance and familiarity with the assailant were not conducted, although intended. It was found that the emotional state of the victim after the rape incident did not have an effect on victim blame or victim responsibility level.;The correlational component of the study examined relationships between attributions of blame and responsibility of the perpetrator, victim, and the situation itself, and individual-related variables of level of rape myth beliefs, law enforcement experience, and general concern for victims. Overall, positive correlations were found between levels of victim blame and victim responsibility, law enforcement experience, and rape myth beliefs. Implications for future research regarding law enforcement attitudes toward rape victims are discussed.


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A number of studies has focused on how the general public and professionals perceive rape victims (e.g., Buddie & Miller, 2001). Victims are attributed blame if they have been raped by an acquaintance or by someone they agreed to date (Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994). Rape myths, such as "Men cannot control their sexual urges" (Burt, 1991), tend to suggest that women are m A number of studies has focused on how the general public and professionals perceive rape victims (e.g., Buddie & Miller, 2001). Victims are attributed blame if they have been raped by an acquaintance or by someone they agreed to date (Bell, Kuriloff, & Lottes, 1994). Rape myths, such as "Men cannot control their sexual urges" (Burt, 1991), tend to suggest that women are more responsible for preventing rape than men. People also tend to make judgments about rape victims based on whether the victims are visibly in distress or not. The current experiment restricted its investigation to the effect of victims' emotional state on their levels of blame and responsibility by police officers. Due to a small sample size (n = 47), examinations of appearance and familiarity with the assailant were not conducted, although intended. It was found that the emotional state of the victim after the rape incident did not have an effect on victim blame or victim responsibility level.;The correlational component of the study examined relationships between attributions of blame and responsibility of the perpetrator, victim, and the situation itself, and individual-related variables of level of rape myth beliefs, law enforcement experience, and general concern for victims. Overall, positive correlations were found between levels of victim blame and victim responsibility, law enforcement experience, and rape myth beliefs. Implications for future research regarding law enforcement attitudes toward rape victims are discussed.

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