SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Journal Article 1: Bieneck, S., & Krahe, B. (2011). Blaming the victim and exonerating the perpetrator in cases of rape and robbery: Is there a double standard? Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26, 1785–1797. DOI:10.1177/0886260510372945

Abstract: Research in legal decision making has demonstrated the tendency to blame the victim and exonerate the perpetrator of sexual assault. This study examined the hypothesis of a special leniency bias in rape cases by comparing them to cases of robbery. N = 288 participants received descriptions of rape and robbery of a female victim by a male perpetrator and made ratings of victim and perpetrator blame. Case scenarios varied with respect to the prior relationship (strangers, acquaintances, ex-partners) and coercive strategy (force vs. exploiting victim intoxication). More blame was attributed to the victim and less blame was attributed to the perpetrator for rape than for robbery. Information about a prior relationship between victim and perpetrator increased ratings of victim blame and decreased perceptions of perpetrator blame in the rape cases, but not in the robbery cases. The findings support the notion of a special leniency bias in sexual assault cases.

Journal Article 2: Boba, R., & Lilley, D. (2009). Violence against women act (VAWA) funding: A nationwide assessment of effects on rape and assault. Violence Against Women, 15, 168–185. DOI:10.1177/1077801208329146

Abstract: Although evaluations of process and implementation suggest that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) funding program has resulted in positive outcomes, no study has evaluated its impact on violent crime. This study examines panel data from 1996 to 2002 (10,371 jurisdictions) throughout the United States. Findings indicate that VAWA grants were associated with reductions in rape and assault. These relationships persisted after controlling for general downward crime trends and effects of other justice grants. The results provide support for continued existence of this funding stream and for additional evaluation to determine exactly which programs funded are effective in reducing crime.

Journal Article 3: Donovan, R. A. (2007). To blame or not to blame: Influence of target race and observer sex on rape blame attribution. Journal of Interpersonal Violence22, 722–736.

Abstract: There is a paucity of research on the influence of racist and sexist stereotypes in rape blame attribution, including the jezebel and matriarch stereotypes of Black women. This study extends the literature by examining how victim race, perpetrator race, and participant sex affect perceptions of a rape survivor's promiscuity (jezebel stereotype) and strength and/or toughness (matriarch stereotype). The myth of the Black male sexual predator of White women is also investigated. Data provided partial support for the jezebel stereotype. There were also contradictory findings supporting and challenging the acceptance of the Black rapist of White women stereotype. No significant differences were found for the matriarch stereotype. Reasons for and implications of findings are explored.