Perceptions of dating violence following a sexual or nonsexual betrayal of trust: Effects of gender, sexism, acceptance of rape myths, and vengeance motivation

Gordon B. Forbes, Rebecca L. Jobe, Kay B. White, Emily Bloesch, Leah E. Adams-Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations

Abstract

College women's (N = 220) and men's (N = 208) perceptions of violence following a betrayal by a romantic partner were studied in an independent groups design that varied gender of the participant, type of betrayal (sexual or nonsexual), and gender of the betrayed individual. Participants read one of four brief vignettes in which the betrayed person slapped his/her partner and made his/her lip bleed. Justification of this action was rated on 10 items. Factor analysis of these items indicated the presence of three factors for men and four for women. Both men and women indicated that hitting the partner, getting even, and being angry were more justifiable following a sexual betrayal. The hitting of a male partner by a betrayed woman was perceived as more justified than the hitting of a female partner by a betrayed man. In absolute terms, hitting and getting even by both women and men were generally viewed as unjustifiable, whereas being angry was viewed as justifiable. For both women and men, scores on the Vengeance Scale (Stuckless & Goranson, 1992) and Rape Myth Acceptance Scale (Lonsway & Fitzgerald, 1995) were related to getting even. For men, the Hostile Sexism Scale (Glick & Fiske, 2001) was related to getting even or being angry and breaking up. Results indicated that perceptions of reactions to betrayal are related to type of betrayal and to the dispositional characteristics of the perceiver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalSex Roles
Volume52
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2005

Keywords

  • Betrayal
  • Dating violence
  • Vengeance

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