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.
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