Library Dissertation Showcase

Are sexist people more accepting of intimate partner violence? Ambivalent sexism, the perpetrator’s gender, and perceptions of psychological abuse

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant issue within society. On consideration of previous literature, the current study aimed to explore the relationship between ambivalent sexism, the gender of the perpetrator, and perceptions of psychological abuse. It was hypothesised that endorsement of ambivalent sexist attitudes, and the gender of the perpetrator, would influence perceptions of a specific case of psychological abuse. A sample of 197 participants across two conditions (female victim: N = 98; male victim: N = 99 participants) read a hypothetical scenario of psychological abuse, and completed a series of questionnaires. The results demonstrated that female perpetrated abuse was evaluated more positively than male perpetrated abuse. The findings additionally display that individuals endorsing ambivalent sexist attitudes were more accepting of overall IPV, and also evaluated a scenario of abuse more positively. These findings are consistent with much academic literature. The current study highlights the importance of investigating factors associated with the acceptance of IPV, and more specifically psychological abuse. The significant impact this can have on society, such as a decrease in perpetration rates, is discussed.

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