Dexter, H. R., Penrod, S., Linz, D., & Saunders, D. (1997). Attributing responsibility to female victims after exposure to sexually violent films. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27 (24), 2149-2171.
Abstract: Investigated the possibility that the degree to which female abuse victims are held accountable by other women who have been exposed to sexually violent mass media is primarily dependent upon 3 factors: situational relevance, personal similarity, and emotional arousal. It was proposed that brief exposure to highly arousing graphic violence against women would strengthen the tendency to attribute responsibility to victims for certain types of assault. 123 female undergraduates participated in an experiment in which 4 movies of the slasher genre were used as stimulus materials. Factors of the study were film dose; film viewing/victim judgment time interval; victim-S similarity; and situational relevance of depicted assaults. Results showed less attribution of responsibility to similar victims and high attributions of responsibility to dissimilar victims in the personally relevant assault situation (rape). Ss identified least with dissimilar rape victims and most with similar victims when they had not been desensitized. When Ss were desensitized, the defensive attribution effect failed to emerge. There was also a significant tendency among low film dose Ss to perceive more psychological injury and to attribute more distress to the victim than among high film dose Ss. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2004 APA, all rights reserved)