The purposes of this study were threefold: 1.) to duplicate previous studies by demonstrating differences in victim blame attribution, minimization of rape, and degree of excusing the perpetrator between homosexual and heterosexual victims; 2.) determine if similar patterns will be shown with male victims as with female victims in the demonstration of rape myths when the victim and perpetrator are acquainted or strangers; and 3.) test the mediation effect of homophobia on perceptions of male rape victims. 119 university students participated. Participants read a scenario in which a homosexual or heterosexual was raped by a male stranger or acquaintance. Participants then answered questions judging the seriousness of the attack and the degree of responsibility held by the victim and perpetrator. Participants also answered questions measuring their homophobic and traditional gender role beliefs. Significant differences were found between the male and female participants in victim blame attribution and rape minimization. Significant differences were also found in the amount of blame attributed to the victim and perceived seriousness of the attack between stranger and acquaintance rape for heterosexual victims, and the degree of rape minimization between heterosexual and homosexual victims of acquaintance rape. Homophobia and gender role traditionality were not found to be mediating variables in predicting victim blame attribution, degree of rape minimization, or degree of excusing the perpetrator. This study expands the current literature by examining the effects of the victim-perpetrator relationship in perceptions of male rape victims, as well as adding to the vast amount of literature suggesting that sexual orientation plays a role in how one views a male rape victim.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; Psychology



Date Submitted


Document Type





rape, male rape, homophobia, homosexual, homosexuality, homosexual rape, aquaintance rape, stranger rape



Included in

Psychology Commons