Who Blames The Victim?

Andrew Sullivan —  Jul 10 2013 @ 7:36am

Abigail Rine points to research suggesting that “beliefs about gender roles are more predictive of a victim-blaming mentality than the gender of the research participant”:

In other words, men blame at higher rates not because they are more susceptible to misogyny or misandry, but because they are more likely to endorse traditional views of masculinity and femininity. This holds true for victim-blaming that stems from “hostile sexism,” which refers to the denigration of a rape victim who violates gender expectations. Both men and women, however, are equally inclined toward “benevolent sexism,” or reserving one’s sympathy for those who fulfill gender ideals.

A study published just this year in the Journal of Sexual Aggression lends further support to the gender transgression hypothesis. Unlike previous experimental studies of samples from the United Kingdom and United States, this study analyzed a Swedish population. In this instance, victim-blaming attitudes were found to be scarce, as participants of both sexes overwhelmingly blamed the rapist for the attack, and, in a divergence from other studies, male participants did not victim-blame more than their female counterparts. Sweden, one of the highest-ranked countries in the world in terms of gender equality, appears to have significantly lower rates of victim blaming.