Excusing and justifying rape cognitions in judgements of sexually-coercive dating scenarios

Harper, C.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-3172-0129, Franco, V. and Wills, M., 2020. Excusing and justifying rape cognitions in judgements of sexually-coercive dating scenarios. Sexual Abuse, 32 (5), pp. 543-566. ISSN 1079-0632

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According to recent analyses, Bumby’s RAPE scale of rape-supportive cognitions about women and sexual assault is comprised of two factors. Excusing rape serves to reduce abusers’ culpability for their offending, and ascribing blame to victims, while justifying rape is associated with a sense of sexual entitlement. The distinct effects of these factors on rape judgements have not yet been investigated. We examined whether these belief clusters differentially explained judgements of perpetrator innocence after priming cues related to each of them. We used a cross-sectional design (N = 217) to test our hypotheses. As predicted, we found that excusing rape cognitions contributed to exaggerated innocence judgements when the victim paid the bill on a first date (potentially indicative of romantic or sexual interest). However, contrary to expectations there was no evidence that participants justified rape when the perpetrator paid the bill. Implications for conceptualising the functions of rape-supportive cognitions are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Sexual Abuse
Creators: Harper, C.A., Franco, V. and Wills, M.
Publisher: Sage
Date: 1 August 2020
Volume: 32
Number: 5
ISSN: 1079-0632
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 03 Dec 2018 16:48
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 16:00
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/35213

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