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Attitudes Toward Victims of Rape: Effects of Gender, Race, Religion, and Social Class

by Barbara Nagel, Hisako Matsuo, Kevin P. McIntyre, Nancy Morrison
Journal of Interpersonal Violence ()
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Although previous literature focusing on perceptions of victims of rape has examined\nhow gender, race, and culture influence the attitudes one holds toward victims, these\nstudies have yielded mixed results. This study compared perceptions of victims of\nrape across a wide range of ages, educational backgrounds, religions, and income\nlevels, while focusing on gender and racial differences. Results indicate (N = 220)\nthat victims of rape are generally viewed more sympathetically by females than by\nmales and by Whites than by African Americans. However, the effect of race disappears\nwhen socioeconomic variables are controlled, suggesting a more complex relationship.\nAlso, a hierarchical regression indicates that age, sex, education, and\nincome are significant predictors of attitudes toward victims. This study builds on\nexisting research that examines such attitudes from a cultural perspective and\nextends this literature by examining the interactive effects of several demographic\nvariables within a community sample.

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