Rape blame as a function of alcohol presence and resistance type

Calvin M. Sims, Nora E. Noel, Stephen A. Maisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Attributions of rape blame may be related to variables such as alcohol presence and resistance type used during a sexual assault. The current study sought to assess participants' attributions of responsibility for a sexual assault based on these two variables through the use of several written scenarios. Two hundred and thirteen male and female college students participated in the study. Results indicated that responsibility ratings given to the victim varied by the presence of alcohol but not by resistance type. If the female target had been drinking, she was judged as being more responsible for the assault than if she had not been drinking. However, how she resisted the assault did not affect ratings of her responsibility. Additionally, participant gender was found to not be an important factor for attributing blame to the woman target. Future research should focus on two important factors: 1) how participants' judgments of blame may change during actual alcohol administration and 2) how the use of video, rather than written vignettes, may produce stronger effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2766-2775
Number of pages10
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Alcohol
  • Attribution
  • Blame
  • Expectancies
  • Rape
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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