Investigating the victim pseudomaturity effect: How a victim’s chronological age and dress style influences attributions in a depicted case of child sexual assault

Rogers, Paul, Lowe, Michelle ORCID: 0000-0001-9649-4938 and Reddington, Katie (2016) Investigating the victim pseudomaturity effect: How a victim’s chronological age and dress style influences attributions in a depicted case of child sexual assault. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 25 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1053-8712 (Print)

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Official URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/wcsa20/current

Abstract

Three hundred and seven members of the UK public read a hypothetical child sexual abuse (CSA) case in which the victim’s chronological age (12 vs. 15 years) and dress style (sexualised vs. non-sexualised) were experimentally manipulated. They completed 22 items relating to attributions of victim, perpetrator and non-offending third party blame, victim attire and perceived assault severity. It was predicted that the older and the sexually dressed victim would be assigned more blame for her own CSA with most blame attributed to 15 year old wearing sexualised attire. Additionally, males were expected to be more blaming generally, but especially of the older and/or sexually dressed victim. Results were generally in line with predictions and highlight the role seemingly controllable victim characteristics play in blaming CSA victims. Findings are discussed in relation to the defensive attributions, gender stereotyping and the newly suggested victim pseudomaturity effect (VPE). Criminal justice, victim welfare and rape myth implications, together with methodological issues and ideas for future research work, are also considered.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Age, blame, child sex abuse, dress, gender, maturity
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr M Lowe
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2018 14:22
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2018 10:30
Identification Number: 10.1080/10538712.2016.1111964
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/1290

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