It Won’t Happen to Me: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Defensive Attribution in Rape Victim Blaming
Author ORCID Identifier
Violence Against Women
Defensive attribution posits that victim blame results from one’s underlying perception of vulnerability. The resulting blame is believed to reduce perceived similarity to the victim and vulnerability to victimization, though extant research has neglected to examine its effectiveness in men and women. The current study employed multigroup analysis structural equation modeling with 618 male and female undergraduates exposed to fictional police reports of a reported rape. The theory was partially supported; among women, defensive attribution of blame effectively reduced perceived vulnerability to sexual victimization, whereas among men, blame had no effect on perceived similarity or vulnerability. Recommendations for interventions to target perceived vulnerability are discussed.
defensive attribution, gender differences, sexual assault/rape, structural equation modeling, victim blame
Pinciotti, Caitlin M. and Orcutt, Holly K., "It Won’t Happen to Me: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Defensive Attribution in Rape Victim Blaming" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 294.
Department of Psychology