Expectations about victim and offender behaviour during stranger rape

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Colleges, School and Institutes


The aim of this study was to examine expectations about victim and offender behaviours during stranger rape. These expectations were compared with the empirically derived data of actual victim and offender behaviours. Furthermore, three attitudes/beliefs were assessed in relation to these expectations: rape myth acceptance, gender role attitudes and belief in a just world (BJW). Seven hundred and fifty-eight undergraduates took part in the study. The results show that participants significantly overestimated the frequency of 29 out of the 30 victim and offender behaviours examined (one behaviour was underestimated). An inconsistent relationship was found in predicting the expectancies via rape myth acceptance, gender role attitudes and BJW. These findings are examined in the context of the criminal justice system and how expectancy violation may affect the perception of rape victim and offenders' behaviours.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)798-820
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2014


  • expectancy violation theory, rape myths, belief in a just world, gender role attitudes