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What is a typical rape? Effects of victim and participant gender in female and male rape perception

By Irina Anderson


The study had three research aims: (1) to examine the current perception of female rape. Given recent changes in public awareness of female rape, it was predicted that respondents would conceptualise a typical female rape as an acquaintance rape rather than as the stranger rape stereotype; (2) to examine whether these perceptions differ according to respondents’ gender; (3) to examine the ‘cultural lag’ theory of male rape where it was hypothesised that if the public perception of male rape lags behind female rape, then a typical male rape will be conceptualised as the classic stranger rape stereotype. Findings showed that contrary to predictions, a typical female rape was conceptualised according to the stranger rape stereotype. It was also found that instead of lagging behind female rape along the stranger –acquaintance rape dimension, male rape was viewed predominantly in terms of ‘other’ factors (factors not found on the stranger-acquaintance dimension, e.g., victim/rapist sexual orientation, rapist calls victim names), which were erroneous, sexualising and homophobic

Year: 2007
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