Societal attitudes towards athletes may influence media depictions of sexual assault perpetrators and individuals' responses to these portrayals, which can thereby shape reactions and outcomes affecting perpetrators and victims. This study presented participants (N=616) with actual news articles depicting sexual assaults committed by athlete and non-athlete perpetrators. Articles were reliably coded for various characteristics. Analyses indicated that athlete perpetrators were characterized more positively than non-athletes. Analyses indicated that characteristics of the participant were more relevant to shaping attitudes than article-level factors, with attributes including sports fanaticism and beliefs about rape predicted how blame was apportioned to victims versus perpetrators.
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Jules, Bridget, "Attitudes Towards Sexual Assault: The Influence of Athletic Background and Media Portrayal on Perceptions of Rape" (2020). Research Days Posters Spring 2020. 37.