People Who Strongly Believe in Masculinity are Less Likely to Report Rape

by Rishika Gupta on  September 6, 2018 at 8:20 PM Mental Health News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Men and heterosexual participants who held traditional masculinity beliefs were found to be more likely to blame victims and not the perpetrators. They were also less likely to disclose the rape if they were the victim, finds a new study. The findings of this study are published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
 People Who Strongly Believe in Masculinity are Less Likely to Report Rape
People Who Strongly Believe in Masculinity are Less Likely to Report Rape

In a study exploring possible reasons for the underreporting of rape, researchers at Binghamton University and SUNY Broome Community College had both male and female college students read a series of stories describing a clear incident of rape. In the different stories, which were randomly assigned, the rape was perpetrated by either a man against a woman, a man against a man or a woman against a man.

Afterward, participants were asked to indicate how much blame they felt was attributable to the perpetrator or the victim; and then to consider, if they were the victim, how likely they would be to (1) tell people they know that the rape happened, or (2) to report it to authorities.

Even in situations that were rape, individuals often appeared on the fence about whether or not they would disclose the rape to others.

"In general, participants were ambivalent about disclosing that they had been sexually assaulted, even though they identified the attack as a definite rape," said Binghamton University Associate Professor of Psychology Richard Mattson, corresponding author for the study. "The participants' gender role beliefs and sexual orientation, together with the sex of the perpetrator, seems to affect their attributions of blame, which could influence this tenuous decisional balance in ways that map onto patterns of underreporting in actual rapes."

The researchers found that male and heterosexual participants were more likely to blame victims and less likely to blame perpetrators, and were also less likely to disclose the rape if they were the victim. Endorsement of traditional beliefs and assumptions about men and masculinity seemed to be driving these associations.

"Regardless of gender (and sexual orientation), those who believed men should act more stereotypically masculine were less likely to either report rape or disclose having been assaulted," said Mattson. "In part, this was because those endorsing such ideologies blamed victims more and minimized the responsibility of the perpetrators. However, the overall pattern of effects suggests a more complex picture in which different aspects of the masculine gender role might relate to underreporting for different reasons."

One surprising finding was that decisions to report a rape to authorities were more strongly tied to judgments about the perpetrator's actions than those of the victim.

"Regardless of how much blame a person placed on the victim for being raped, it was how they viewed the perpetrator, how much blame they assigned to them, that affected their likelihood to report the incident to authorities," said Mattson.

The study highlights the importance of continuing to explore and critically reflect on our enduring traditional beliefs about gender and how these beliefs shape our understanding of both sexual behaviors and sexual assault, said Mattson.

"Our findings suggest that challenging belief systems and cultural narratives about rape that exonerate perpetrators - particularly those related to gender and sexual orientation - may help to increase the reporting of rapes, which has implications for both public safety and the support and resources available to, and accessed by, victims of rape," said Mattson. "We hope these findings will serve to prevent the inadvertent and unjust blaming of victims while giving guilty perpetrators a pass."

Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions
Advertisement

More News on:

DNA Finger Printing Sexual Deviance 

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive