Judge me, judge me not: The role of eye size and observer gender on acquaintance rape
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of eye size and observer gender on perceived initial attraction, honesty, and attributions of responsibility for rape. A 3 (eye size: small vs. normal vs. large) x 2 (observer gender: female vs. male) experimental design was tested. Ninety participants (45 women and 45 men) observed one of three randomly assigned female faces (with eye size manipulation), and rated initial attraction and honesty. They were then asked to read an acquaintance rape scenario with a traditional woman, rating the victim and perpetrator responsibility. Eye size was shown to affect all the study variables: the female face with large eyes was seen as more attractive and honest, was held less responsible for her own victimization, and the offender was held more responsible. Gender was proven to affect perceived initial attraction and victim responsibility. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
Abrams, D., Viki, G. T., Masser B., & Bohner, G. (2003). Perceptions of stranger and acquaintance rape: The role of benevolent and hostile sexism in victim blame and rape proclivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(1), 111-125. doi: 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.199.
Acock, A. C., & Ireland, N. K. (1983). Attribution of blame in rape cas-es: The impact of norm violation, gender, and sex-role attitude. Sex Roles, 9(2), 179-193. doi: 10.1007/BF00289622.
Ambady, N. & Skowronski, J.J. (Eds.) (2008). First impressions. New York: Guilford Press.
Anderson, I., & Swainson, V. (2001). Perceived motivation for rape: Gender differences in beliefs about female and male rape. Current Research in Social Psychology, 6(8), 107-123.
Anderson, L. A., & Whiston, S. C. (2005). Sexual assault education pro-grams: A meta-analytic examination of their effectiveness. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 29(4), 374-388. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.2005.00237.x.
Angelone, D. J., Mitchell, D., & Lucente, L. (2012). Predicting percep-tions of date rape: An examination of perpetrator motivation, relationship length, and gender role beliefs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(20), 1-21. oi: 10.1177/0886260512436385.
Aosved, A. C., & Long, P. J. (2006). Co-occurrence of rape myth ac-ceptance, sexism, racism, homophobia, ageism, classism, and religious intolerance. Sex Roles, 55(7-8), 481-492. doi: 10.1007/s11199-006-9101-4.
Argyle, M. (1970). Eye-contact and distance: a reply to Stephenson and Rutter. British Journal of Psychology, 61(3), 395-396. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1970.tb01258.x.
Atoum, A. O., & Al-Simadi, F. A. (2000). The effect of presentation modality on judgments of honesty and attractiveness. Social Behavior and Personality, 28(3), 269-278. doi: 10.2224/sbp.2000.28.3.269.
Best, J. B., & Demmin, H. S. (1982). Victim’s provocativeness and vic-tim’s attractiveness as determinants of blame in rape. Psychological Reports, 51(1), 255-258. doi: 10.2466/pr0.19188.8.131.52.
Capezza, N. M., & Arriaga, X. B. (2008). Why do people blame victims of abuse? The role of stereotypes of women on perceptions of blame. Sex Roles, 59(11), 839-850. doi: 10.1007/s11199-008-9488-1.
Coates, L., & Wade, A. (2004). Telling it like it isn’t: Obscuring perpe-trator responsibility for violent crime. Discourse & Society, 15(5), 499-526. doi: 10.1177/0957926504045031.
Cohn, E. S., Dupuis, E. C., & Brown, T. M. (2009). In the eye of the be-holder: Do behavior and character affect victim and perpetrator responsibility for acquaintance rape? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(7), 1513-1535. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2009.00493.x.
Cunningham, M. R., Roberts, A. R., Barbee, A. P., Druen, P. B., & Wu, C. (1995). “Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours”: Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(2), 261–279. doi: 10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2061.
Davies, M., Gilston, J., & Rogers, P. (2012). Examining the relationship between male rape myth acceptance, female rape myth acceptance, victim blame, homophobia, gender roles, and ambivalent sexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 27(14), 2807-2823. doi: 10.1177/0886260512438281.
Deitz, S. R., Littman, M., & Bentley, B. J. (1984). Attribution of responsibility for rape: The influence of observer empathy, victim resistance, and victim attractiveness. Sex Roles, 10(3-4), 261-280. doi:10.1007/BF00287780.
DeJong, W. (1999). Rape and physical attractiveness: Judgments con-cerning likelihood of victimization. Psychological Reports, 85(1), 32-34. doi: 10.2466/pr0.19220.127.116.11.
Dion, K., Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1972). What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24(3), 285-290. doi: 10.1037/h0033731.
Erian, M., Lin, C., Patel, N., Neal, A., & Geiselman, R. E. (1998). Juror verdicts as a function of victim and defendant attractiveness in sexual assault cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 16(3), 25-40.
Feild, H. S. (1979). Rape trials and jurors’ decisions: A psycholegal analysis of the effects of victim, defendant, and case characteristics. Law and Human Behavior, 3(4), 261-284. doi: 10.1007/BF01039806.
Frese, B., Moya, M., & Megías, J. L. (2004). Social perception of rape: How rape myth acceptance modulates the influence of situational factors. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(2), 143-161. doi: 10.1177/0886260503260245.
Fiske, S. T., Cuddy, A. J. C., Glick, P., & Xu, J. (2002). A model of (often mixed) stereotype content: Competence and warmth respectively follow from perceived status and competition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82(6), 878-902. doi: 10.1037//0022-3518.104.22.1688.
Gangestad, S. W., Haselton, M. G., & Buss, D. M. (2006). Evolutionary foundations of cultural variation: Evoked culture and mate pref-erences. Psychological Inquiry, 17(2), 75-95. doi: 10.1207/s15327965pli1702_1.
Geldart, S., Maurer, D., & Carney, K. (1999). Effects of eye size on adults’ aesthetic ratings of faces and 5-month-olds’ looking times. Perception, 28(3), 361-374. DOI: 10.1016/S0163-6383(98)91640-X.
Gerdes, E. P., Dammann, E. J., & Heilig, K. E. (1988). Perceptions of rape victims and assailants: Effects of physical attractiveness, ac-quaintance, and subject gender. Sex Roles, 19(3-4), 141-153. doi: 10.1007/BF00290151.
Gölge, Z. B., Yavuz, M. F., Müderrisoglu, S., & Yavuz, M. S. (2003). Turk-ish university students’ attitudes toward rape. Sex Roles, 49(11-12), 653-661. doi: 10.1023/B:SERS.0000003135.30077.a4.
Gonçalves, G., Martins, A. T., Parreira, T., Ferrão, M. C., Santos, J. V., Giger, J-C., & Gomes, A. (2012a). The eye size has an influence in the way we judge others. In C. Sousa & A. M. Oliveira (Eds.), Pro-ceedings of the 14th European Conference on Facial Expression: New Challenges for Research (pp.121-128). Lisboa/Almada: European Society for the Study of Facial Expressions/IPCDVS.
Gonçalves, G., Martins, A. T., Ferrão, M. C., Parreira, T., Gomes, A., & Ramos, A-O. (2012b). People judge a book through its cover and humans by their eyes. International Journal of Advances in Social Psychology, 1(2), 40-45.
Gonçalves, G., Gomes, A., Ferrão, M. C., Parreira, T., Santos, J. V., Giger, J-C., & Martins, A. T. (2014). Once upon a face: The effect of eye size, observer gender and stimulus gender on impression formation. Current Psychology (published online 07/2014). doi: 10.1007/s12144-014-9244-3.
Griffin, A. M. & Langlois, J. H. (2006). Stereotype directionality and attractiveness stereotyping: Is beauty good or is ugly bad? Social Cognition, 24(2), 212-246. doi: 10.1521/soco.2006.24.2.187.
Gregory, J., and Lees, S. (1999). Policing Sexual Assault. London: Routledge.
Grubb, A. R., & Harrower, J. (2009). Understanding attribution of blame in cases of rape: An analysis of participant gender, type of rape and perceived similarity to the victim. Journal of Sexual Aggres-sion, 15(1), 63-81. doi:10.1080/13552600802641649.
Grubb, A. R., & Turner, E. (2012). Attribution of blame in rape cases: A review of the impact of rape myth acceptance, gender role conformity and substance use on victim blaming. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17(5), 443-452. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2012.06.002.
Humphreys, T. P. (1993). Gender Differences in the Perception of Rape: The Role of Ambiguity [Thesis submitted to the Department of Psychology of the Wilfrid Laurier University in partial fulfillment of the re-quirements for the Master of Arts Degree]. Ontario: Wilfrid Lauri-er University.
Jacobson, M. B., & Popovich, P. M. (1983). Victim attractiveness and perceptions of responsibility in an ambiguous rape case. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 8(1), 100-104. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6402.1983.tb00621.x.
Johnson, J. D., Jackson, L. A. & Smith, G. J. (1989). The role of ambiguity and gender in mediating the effects of salient conditions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(1), 52-60. doi: 10.1177/0146167289151005.
Keating, C. F., & Doyle, J. (2002). The faces of desirable mates and dates contain mixed social status cues. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 38(4), 414-424. doi: 10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00007-0.
Keating, C. F., Randall, D. W., Kendrick, T., & Gutshall, K. A. (2003). Do babyfaced adults receive more help? The (cross-cultural) case of the lost resume. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27(2), 89-109. doi: 10.1023/A:1023962425692.
Kelly, L. (2002). A Research Review on the Reporting, Investigation and Prosecu-tion of Rape Cases. London: HMCPSI.
Kościński, K. (2007). Facial attractiveness: General patterns of facial preferences. Anthropological Review, 70(1), 45-79. doi: 10.2478/v10044-008-0001-9.
Krahè, B. (1991). Social psychological issues in the study of rape. Euro-pean Review of Social Psychology, 2(1), 279-309. doi: 10.1080/14792779143000097.
Krahè, B. (1988). Victim and observer characteristics as determinants of responsibility attributions to victims of rape. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18(1), 50-58. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb00004.x.
Langlois, J. H., Kalakanis, L., Rubenstein, A. J., Larson, A., Hallam, M., & Smoot, M. (2000). Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 126(3), 390-423. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.126.3.390.
Langlois, J. H., Ritter, J. M., Roggman, L. A., & Vaughn, L. S. (1991). Facial diversity and infant preferences for attractive faces. Developmental Psychology, 27(1), 79-84. doi: 10.1037/0012-1622.214.171.124.
Luginbuhl, J., & Mullin, C. (1981). Rape and responsibility: How and how much is the victim blamed? Sex Roles, 7(5), 547-559. doi: 10.1007/BF00288631.
Mitchell, D., Angelone, D. J., Kohlberger, B., & Hirschman, R. (2009). Effects of offender motivation, victim gender, and participant gender on perceptions of rape victims and offenders. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24(9), 1564-1578. doi: 10.1177/0886260508323662.
Moore, F. R., Filippou, D., & Perrett, D. I. (2011). Intelligence and attractiveness in the face: Beyond the attractiveness halo effect. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 9(3), 205-217. doi: 10.1556/JEP.9.2011.3.2.
Nagel, B., Matsuo, H., McIntyre, K. P., & Morrison, N. (2005). Attitudes toward victims of rape: Effects of gender, race, religion, and social class. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 20(6), 725-737. doi: 10.1177/0886260505276072.
Newcombe, P. a., van den Eynde, J., Hafner, D., & Jolly, L. (2008). Attributions of responsibility for rape: Differences across familiarity of situation, gender, and acceptance of rape myths. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(7), 1736-1754. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2008.00367.x
Paunonen, S. V., Ewan, K., Erathy, J., Lefave, S., & Goldberg, H. (1999). Facial features as personality cues. Journal of Personality, 67(3), 555-583. doi: 10.1111/1467-6494.00065.
Pettijohn, T. F. II, & Tesser, A. (2005). Threat and social choice: When eye size matters. The Journal of Social Psychology, 145(5), 547-570. doi: 10.3200/SOCP.145.5.547-570.
Pollard, P. (1992). Judgments about victims and attackers in depicted rapes: A review. British Journal of Social Psychology, 31(4), 307-326. doi: 10.1111/j.2044-8309.1992.tb00975.x.
Rebeiz, M. J., & Harb, C. (2010). Perceptions of rape and attitudes to-ward women in a sample of Lebanese students. Journal of Interper-sonal Violence 25(4), 735-752. doi: 10.1177/0886260509334410.
Reysen, S. (2008). Construction and validation of measures of perceived honesty and perceived expertise. Poster presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association. Kansas City, MO.
Rodrigues, D. & Garcia-Marques, T. (2006). Como medir a atracção sentida num primeiro encontro? Propriedades métricas do Índice de Atracção Inicial (IAI). VI Simpósio Nacional de Investigação em Psicologia. Évora.
Rodrigues, D. & Garcia-Marques, T. (2005). Marquemos o encontro ao cimo da escada: O papel da activação fisiológica na atracção interpessoal. Análise Psicológica, 23(4), 427-436.
Schneider, L. J., Mori, P. L. L., & Wong, A. O. (2009). The role of gen-der and ethnicity in perceptions of rape and its aftereffects. Sex Roles, 60(5), 410-421. doi: 10.1007/s11199-008-9545-9.
Seligman, C., Brickman, J., & Koulack, D. (1977). Rape and physical attractiveness: Assigning responsibility to victims. Journal of Personality, 45(4), 554-563. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1977.tb00171.x.
Shaver, K. G. (1970). Defensive attribution: Effects of severity and relevance on the responsibility assigned for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 14(2), 101-113. doi: 10.1037/h0028777.
Shinners, E. (2009). Effects of the “what is beautiful is good” stereo-type on perceived trustworthiness. UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research, 12, 1-5.
Tajfel, H., Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P., & Flament, C. (1971). Social categorization and inter-group behavior. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1(2), 149–178. doi:10.1002/ejsp.2420010202.
Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The social identity theory of inter-group behavior. In S. Worchel & W. G. Austin (eds.), Psychology of Intergroup Relations (2nd ed., pp. 7-24). Chicago: Nelson-Hall.
Tarsi, M. M., & Jalbert, N. L. (1999). Observers’ evaluations of couples involved in date rape. Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research, 4(3), 119-124.
Thornton, B., & Ryckman, R. M. (1983). The influence of a rape victim’s physical attractiveness on observers’ attributions of responsibility. Human Relations, 36(6), 549-561. doi: 10.1177/001872678303600604.
Viki, G. T., & Abrams, D. (2002). But she was unfaithful: Benevolent sexism and reactions to rape victims who violate traditional gender role expectations. Sex Roles, 47(5), 289-293. doi: 10.1023/A:1021342912248.
Vrij, A., & Firmin, H. (2001). Beautiful thus innocent? The impact of defendants' and victims' physical attractiveness and participants' rape beliefs on impression formation in alleged rape cases. International Review of Victimology, 8(3), 245-255. doi: 10.1177/026975800100800301.
Wade, T. J. (2010). The Relationships between symmetry and attrac-tiveness and mating relevant decisions and behavior: A review. Symmetry, 2(2), 1081-1098. doi: 10.3390/sym2021081.
Whatley, M. A. (2005). The effect of participant sex, victim dress, and traditional attitudes on causal judgments for marital rape victims. Journal of Family Violence, 20(3), 191-200. doi: 10.1007/s10896-005-3655-8.
Workman, J. E., & Freeburg, E. W. (1999). An examination of date rape, victim dress, and perceiver variables within the context of attribution theory. Sex Roles, 41(3-4), 261-277. doi: 10.1023/A:1018858313267.
Zebrowitz, L. A., Voinescu, L., & Collins, M. A. (1996). “Wide-eyed” and “crooked-faced”: Determinants of perceived and real honesty across the life span. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22(12), 1258-1269. DOI: 10.1177/01461672962212006.
Copyright (c) 2015 Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Murcia
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The works published in this journal are subject to the following terms:
1. The Publications Service of the University of Murcia (the publisher) retains the property rights (copyright) of published works, and encourages and enables the reuse of the same under the license specified in paragraph 2.
2. The works are published in the online edition of the journal under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 (legal text). You can copy, use, distribute, transmit and publicly display, provided that: i) you cite the author and the original source of publication (journal, editorial and URL of the work), ii) are not used for commercial purposes, iii ) mentions the existence and specifications of this license.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
3. Conditions of self-archiving. Is allowed and encouraged the authors to disseminate electronically pre-print versions (version before being evaluated and sent to the journal) and / or post-print (version reviewed and accepted for publication) of their works before publication, as it encourages its earliest circulation and diffusion and thus a possible increase in its citation and scope between the academic community. RoMEO Color: Green.