A System Justification View of Sexual Violence: Legitimizing Gender Inequality and Reduced Moral Outrage Are Connected to Greater Rape Myth Acceptance

Kristine Chapleau, Debra L. Oswald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rape is a pervasive social problem that causes serious physical and psychological repercussions. Rape victims' recovery is often complicated by the public's failure to believe the victim and restore justice. This study applied system justification theory to examine whether the justification of gender inequality is related to moral outrage (an emotional precursor to corrective action) and rape myth acceptance; we also examined whether rape myth acceptance is associated with moral outrage at injustice. Results showed that gender-specific system justification correlated with less moral outrage at human suffering as well as greater rape myth acceptance. The relationships between these variables were similar for men and for women, a finding that suggests that rape myths are system justifying for women. When we controlled for gender-specific system justification, rape myth acceptance correlated with less moral outrage. Results are discussed in the context of how legitimizing ideologies reduce moral outrage at injustice and perpetuate a system of sexual violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-218
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Trauma and Dissociation
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Rape
Sex Offenses
Social Problems
Social Justice
Psychological Stress
Psychology

Keywords

  • gender-specific system justification
  • moral outrage
  • rape myth acceptance
  • sexual violence
  • system justification theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{67f3f99b90ee44f5b53391ef7521d1a2,
title = "A System Justification View of Sexual Violence: Legitimizing Gender Inequality and Reduced Moral Outrage Are Connected to Greater Rape Myth Acceptance",
abstract = "Rape is a pervasive social problem that causes serious physical and psychological repercussions. Rape victims' recovery is often complicated by the public's failure to believe the victim and restore justice. This study applied system justification theory to examine whether the justification of gender inequality is related to moral outrage (an emotional precursor to corrective action) and rape myth acceptance; we also examined whether rape myth acceptance is associated with moral outrage at injustice. Results showed that gender-specific system justification correlated with less moral outrage at human suffering as well as greater rape myth acceptance. The relationships between these variables were similar for men and for women, a finding that suggests that rape myths are system justifying for women. When we controlled for gender-specific system justification, rape myth acceptance correlated with less moral outrage. Results are discussed in the context of how legitimizing ideologies reduce moral outrage at injustice and perpetuate a system of sexual violence.",
keywords = "gender-specific system justification, moral outrage, rape myth acceptance, sexual violence, system justification theory",
author = "Kristine Chapleau and Oswald, {Debra L.}",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1080/15299732.2014.867573",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "15",
pages = "204--218",
journal = "Journal of Trauma and Dissociation",
issn = "1529-9732",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A System Justification View of Sexual Violence

T2 - Legitimizing Gender Inequality and Reduced Moral Outrage Are Connected to Greater Rape Myth Acceptance

AU - Chapleau, Kristine

AU - Oswald, Debra L.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Rape is a pervasive social problem that causes serious physical and psychological repercussions. Rape victims' recovery is often complicated by the public's failure to believe the victim and restore justice. This study applied system justification theory to examine whether the justification of gender inequality is related to moral outrage (an emotional precursor to corrective action) and rape myth acceptance; we also examined whether rape myth acceptance is associated with moral outrage at injustice. Results showed that gender-specific system justification correlated with less moral outrage at human suffering as well as greater rape myth acceptance. The relationships between these variables were similar for men and for women, a finding that suggests that rape myths are system justifying for women. When we controlled for gender-specific system justification, rape myth acceptance correlated with less moral outrage. Results are discussed in the context of how legitimizing ideologies reduce moral outrage at injustice and perpetuate a system of sexual violence.

AB - Rape is a pervasive social problem that causes serious physical and psychological repercussions. Rape victims' recovery is often complicated by the public's failure to believe the victim and restore justice. This study applied system justification theory to examine whether the justification of gender inequality is related to moral outrage (an emotional precursor to corrective action) and rape myth acceptance; we also examined whether rape myth acceptance is associated with moral outrage at injustice. Results showed that gender-specific system justification correlated with less moral outrage at human suffering as well as greater rape myth acceptance. The relationships between these variables were similar for men and for women, a finding that suggests that rape myths are system justifying for women. When we controlled for gender-specific system justification, rape myth acceptance correlated with less moral outrage. Results are discussed in the context of how legitimizing ideologies reduce moral outrage at injustice and perpetuate a system of sexual violence.

KW - gender-specific system justification

KW - moral outrage

KW - rape myth acceptance

KW - sexual violence

KW - system justification theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84896041505&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84896041505&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15299732.2014.867573

DO - 10.1080/15299732.2014.867573

M3 - Article

C2 - 24313356

AN - SCOPUS:84896041505

VL - 15

SP - 204

EP - 218

JO - Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

JF - Journal of Trauma and Dissociation

SN - 1529-9732

IS - 2

ER -