Essay Examples on Sydney College of Divinity

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Victims and perpetrators of sexual Violence

Victims and perpetrators of sexual violence are often expected to have certain characteristics and behaviours These expectations form a stereotyped image that has negative consequences in particular for victims Victims of rape are often considered responsible and blameworthy of the traumatic events they experienced Grubb Turner 2012 Therefore it is important to understand how and why responsibility is allocated in the context of rape Heider 1958 examined the cognitive processes behind observers allocation of responsibility and proposed the Attribution Theory Cognitive and motivational biases have an impact on allocative processes Wegner Vallacher 1997 and result in interpretations that are not based on the facts of the events observed These events are analysed through the observers biases and develop one s causal explanations and judgements Fiske Taylor 1991 Heider differentiated between two forms of attributions internal attributions where the outcome someone s actions depend on the individual s personal and unique characteristics and external attributions where one s actions are dictated by situational factors outside of his her control Attribution theories explain victim blaming in rape and sexual assault cases in function of internal attribution processes victims are believed to have been targeted by perpetrators because of their unique characteristics personality behaviour appearances 



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