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Effects of ambivalent sexism, locus of control, empathy, and belief in a just world on attitudes toward rape victims

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2006
Yalçın, Zeynep Sıla
The aim of this present study was to investigate the effects of ambivalent sexism, locus of control, empathy and belief in a just world on attitudes toward rape victims. In order to do so, 425 graduate and undergraduate students at Middle East Technical University participated in the current study. The results of the study indicated that hostile sexism (β = .47), empathy (β = -.28), education (β= -.22), internal locus of control (β = .10), belief in a just world (β = .10), benevolent sexism (β = .10) and income (β = -.09) had a significant contribution on the participants̕ unfavorable attitudes toward rape victims after eliminating the effects of age and education. Additional analysis further revealed that male participants demonstrated significantly more endorsement on unfavorable attitudes toward rape victims than female participants. The main effect of pornography viewing on attitudes toward rape victims was not found significant. However, the results further indicated that there was a significant interaction effect among gender, pornography viewing and empathy. That is, in the high victim empathy condition male participants who had been exposed to pornography scored significantly higher on unfavorable attitudes toward rape victims than those who had never been exposed to it. On the other hand, in the high empathy condition, female participants who viewed pornography showed less endorsement on unfavorable attitudes toward rape victims than those who never viewed pornography. Finally, the results of the study indicated that the interaction effects of pornography viewing and hostile sexism were significant. Indeed, in the high hostile sexism condition, both male and female participants who were exposed to pornography showed significantly greater endorsement on unfavorable attitudes toward rape victims when compared to those who did not watch pornography. The major