Perceptions of victims and perpetrators in a depicted child sexual abuse case: Gender and age factors

Paul Rogers, Michelle Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the roles of respondent, perpetrator, and victim gender on attributions toward a 10- or 15-year-old victim and an adult perpetrator in a hypothetical sexual abuse case. It was predicted (a) that female respondents would be more provictim and antiperpetrator than men, (b) that 10-year-old victims would be deemed more credible than 15-year-olds, and (c) that men would deem a 15-year-old male victim more culpable when child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a female abuser. Three hundred thirty-seven respondents read a 350-word sexual abuse depiction in which victim age, victim gender, and perpetrator gender were varied between respondents. Respondents then completed a 14-item attribution scale, relating to victim blame, perpetrator blame, assault severity, and victim credibility. A series of ANOVAs revealed support for all predictions. Results are discussed in relation to gender role attitudes. Suggestions for future work also considered. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-584
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007


  • perceptions of victims & perpetrators
  • child sexual abuse case
  • victim & perpetrator gender
  • age
  • attribution
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Abuse, Sexual
  • Crime Victims
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors
  • Attribution
  • Child Abuse
  • Perpetrators
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Victimization
  • Age Differences
  • Human Sex Differences


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