Interpreting the situation : the relationship of gender stereotypes and adherence to attitudes and beliefs to reactions to wife abuse
Jackson, Sherry Ann
Master of Arts
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This study examined the relationship of gender stereotypes and cultural beliefs with responses to victimization. When women are victimized in a marital violence context, intervention likelihood and attributions about marital violence may be related to adherence to gender stereotypes and cultural beliefs about battered women. This study elicited reactions to written scenarios which depicted differing levels of abuse. Respondents were required to complete a measure of sex-role stereotyping, adherence to cultural beliefs about wife beating, likelihood of victimization and intervention, perceptions of sanctions, believability and probability of victimization, and responsibility of spouses for origin and solutions of abuse. It was expected that individuals who subscribe to gender stereotypes would adhere to cultural beliefs and differ from individuals who do not subscribe to gender stereotypes in their responses to these measures- Findings provided evidence for the influence of gender-based expectations and cultural beliefs on perceptions and judgments of victimization. Suggestions for future research were discussed.