Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
School of Arts and Humanities
Drawing on gender-role stereotypes and defensive attribution theory, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of perpetrator-victim sex, observer sex and observer sexting experience on perceptions of seriousness and responsibility in the context of revenge pornography.
In total, 239 university students read one of two versions of a hypothetical scenario, responded to items concerning their perceptions of the situation described, and responded to items concerning their sexting experience.
Men were more likely to believe the situation was serious when it involved a male perpetrator and a female victim rather than vice versa. However, perpetrator-victim sex did not influence women’s perceptions. Participants without sexting experience were more likely than participants with sexting experience to believe the situation was serious, and to hold the victim responsible.
Whilst there is a growing body of literature regarding revenge pornography from a legal perspective, there is little research on perceptions of revenge pornography situations. As the use of intimate images in relationships continues to rise, it is important to understand people’s attitudes and the extra-legal factors that shape them.