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Culpability attributions towards juvenile female prostitutes.

Menaker, Tasha A.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) Child Abuse Review.22:161-181.

This study addresses a gap in the research literature concerning predictors of culpability
attributions towards juvenile female prostitutes (JFPs). Three hundred undergraduate
participants read a vignette describing a JFP and responded to a series of measures.
Results supported a causal pathway whereby stronger perceiver sexism predicted
stronger negative affective evaluations of, and weaker empathic reactions toward, the
JFP. Stronger negative affective evaluations and weaker empathic reactions, in turn,
predicted stronger culpability attributions toward the JFP. Also, participants who were
provided information about the JFP’s extensive victimisation history and coercion into
the trade, relative to participants who were not provided this information, attributed
lesser culpability to the JFP. Finally, stronger culpability attributions toward the JFP
related to weaker recommendations of restorative justice (i.e. counselling/mental health
services for the JFP) and stronger recommendations of retributive justice (i.e.
incarceration for the JFP). Study implications, limitations, and directions for future
research are discussed. (author’s abstract)


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