Based on the assertion that previous research may have inadvertently confounded two stereotypes, we considered the impact of benevolent sexism on rape victim blame in the context of independent manipulations of gender and the perceived genuineness (victim stereotypicality) of an acquaintance rape victim. We predicted that for blame, benevolent sexism may be independently positively associated with gender and victim counter-stereotypicality. Following pilot work, 120 Australian undergraduates read an acquaintance rape scenario. Results indicated that benevolent sexism was only positively associated with blame of the gender counter-stereotypical victim when that victim was also counter-stereotypical in terms of victim stereotypes. This result indicates a more moderate role than previously indicated for benevolent sexism in accounting for rape victim blame.
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