Mediating the Effects of Friendship on Male Rape Victim Blame

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Livgren, Rebecca
Washburn University
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Although male rape victims’ underreporting may be partly due to fear of victim blaming and other negative social outcomes, friendship may provide a buffer. We examined friendship’s effect on male rape victim blame, and whether just world beliefs, invulnerability feelings, and attributional style mediated this effect. Participants were randomly assigned to imagine they were best friends (n = 64), an acquaintance (n = 74), or a stranger (n = 65) with a male rape victim in a vignette. They completed self-report measures that quantified the three potentially mediating variables. Correlational, ANCOVA, and mediation analyses indicated no effects of condition, but valuable predictive utility of the mediators. Victim blame was generally low across all three conditions. Implications for providing the most effective social support of male rape victims are offered.