Five Reasons Why Higher-Educated People Are More Likely to Engage in Victim Shaming
Research shows that higher educated people are less likely to engage in victim blaming than lower educated people. One of the reasons for this may be that higher-educated people tend to be more liberal, which is not always the case. While victim blaming is a common practice, there are also many other reasons why it may be prevalent in certain cultures. Here are five of the most common reasons why a higher-educated person is more likely to engage in victim shaming.
Some research has shown that victims blame themselves for the crimes that occur to them. A classic study published by Lerner and Simmons in Psychological Bulletin examined how women responded to racial stereotypes and victim blaming. The participants in this experiment were told that the image they saw was an act of human learning. Instead, the woman in the scene was an actor who was playing the victim. This results in an inflated perception of the victims’ responsibility.
While there are many different types of victim blaming, one of the most prominent is racial. Studies by Dr. Linda Lerner and her colleague Carolyn Simmons revealed that people’s racial attitudes and feelings about gender and sexuality are associated with the extent to which they blame victims for their abuse. While this might seem a strange result of an experiment, it is still a common practice among victims.
Another reason for racial victim blaming is the gendered nature of the crime. A male perpetrator will typically blame a female victim more often than a male. And vice versa: women are often accused of being negative and unkind to the victim. Some victims may even blame themselves for not being “good” and positive enough. But these accusations are often misplaced and unfair. Despite these concerns, they are a sign of victim shaming.
However, a victim’s resistance is also an important factor that influences the level of victim blaming. A more resolute victim is less likely to blame the perpetrator of an attack. Moreover, a more resolute victim will be more likely to blame herself and not the attacker. But a person’s resistance does not mean that they aren’t capable of blaming themselves. Similarly, a victim’s refusal to acknowledge their victim’s faults does not automatically make the perpetrator guilty.
If a victim blames themselves, the perpetrator will be less likely to speak out about the incident in public. Consequently, the perpetrator may be unaware of the victim’s existence. Further, a person who blames themselves will be less likely to be able to identify the perpetrator, and the victim will not be as open with the perpetrator. If a woman believes the rape occurred, she is more likely to blame herself. But if the rape was not her fault, she will still blame herself.