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Sexual violence as a form of social control : the role of hostile and benevolent sexism

Viki, Garcia Tendayi Nyasha (2002) Sexual violence as a form of social control : the role of hostile and benevolent sexism. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86035) (KAR id:86035)

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Official URL:
https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86035

Abstract

This thesis examines the feminist hypothesis that rape functions as a tool of social control through which women are kept in subordinate social positions (Brownmiller, 1975). In examining this hypothesis, the current thesis explores the role of benevolent and hostile sexism in accounting for people's responses to different types of rape (i.e. stranger vs. acquaintance rape). An examination of the literature suggests that there are general societal beliefs in the distinction between "good" and "bad" rape victims (Pollard, 1992). Interestingly, researchers have observed that benevolent sexism (BS) is related to the idealisation of women in traditional gender roles (i.e. "good" women; Glick et aI., 2000). It is, therefore, argued that individuals who idealise women in traditional roles (i.e. high BS individuals) are more likely to negatively evaluate rape victims who can be perceived as violating these norms. Nine empirical studies are presented in this thesis. Study 1 examines the potential role of BS in accounting for previously observed differences in the amount of blame attributed to stranger and acquaintance rape victims (e.g. Pollard, 1992). Studies 2 and 3 examine the psychological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between BS and victim blame in acquaintance rape situations. Studies 2 and 4 also explore the psychological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between hostile sexism (HS) and self reported rape proclivity in acquaintance rape situations (c.f. Viki, 2000). In Study 5, the relationship between BS and paternalistic chivalry (attitudes that are simultaneously courteous and restrictive to women) is examined. Studies 6 and 7 examine the role of BS in accounting for participants' responses to stranger vs. acquaintance rape perpetrators. The last two studies (Studies 8 and 9) examine the potential role of legal verdicts in moderating the relationship between BS and victim blame in acquaintance rape cases. Taken together, the results support the argument that BS provides a psychological mechanism through which differences in the amount of blame attributed to stranger and acquaintance rape victims can be explained. In contrast, HS provides a mechanism for explaining differences in self-reported proclivity to commit stranger and acquaintance rape. The thesis concludes with a summary of the findings, a discussion of the methodological limitations of the studies and suggestions of directions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86035
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies (https://www.kent.ac.uk/is/strategy/docs/Kent%20Open%20Access%20policy.pdf). If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at ResearchSupport@kent.ac.uk and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (https://www.kent.ac.uk/is/regulations/library/kar-take-down-policy.html).
Uncontrolled keywords: Stranger rape
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
K Law > K Law (General)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:26 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2021 13:57 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/86035 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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