Stereotypic Beliefs About Masculine Honor Are Associated With Perceptions of Rape and Women Who Have Been Raped

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Abstract

Masculine honor consists of stereotypic beliefs about male behavior, including the belief that men’s aggression is appropriate, justifiable, and necessary in response to provocation, especially provocation that insults or threatens one’s manhood, family, or romantic partner. We conducted two studies examining the relationships between stereotypic masculine honor beliefs and perceptions of rape. Masculine honor beliefs generally were associated with both negative attitudes toward rape and negative attitudes toward women who have been raped. Further, different components of masculine honor beliefs correlated differently with various rape perceptions. These outcomes illustrate the complexity of the stereotypic beliefs about appropriate male behavior that comprise masculine honor, and which emphasize men’s responsibility to both take care of others and demonstrate interpersonal dominance.

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