A qualitative exploration of young Australian adults’ understanding of and explanations for alcohol-involved rape

Starfelt, Louise Charlotte, Young, Ross McD., Palk, Gavan, & White, Katherine M. (2015) A qualitative exploration of young Australian adults’ understanding of and explanations for alcohol-involved rape. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 22(3), pp. 337-354.

View at publisher


Little is known about the beliefs that underlie the biased attributions that typically characterise people’s perceptions of intoxicated sexual perpetrators and their victims. Guided by consensual qualitative research, we explored young Australian adults’ (18-25 years; N = 15) attributions for an alcohol-involved rape based on focus groups and interviews. Prominent themes indicated that participants rarely labelled the assault as rape and, instead, adhered to miscommunication explanations. Participants emphasised the developmental value of the victimisation experience although recognising its harmful consequences. Both perpetrator and victim were held strongly responsible based on perceived opportunities to prevent the assault but implicit justifications were, nevertheless, evident. As such, explicit and implicit attributions were contradictory, with the latter reflecting the attributional double standard previously observed in quantitative rape-perception research. Findings underscore the need to challenge pervasive rape myths and equip young adults with knowledge on how to respond supportively to the commonly stigmatised victims of rape.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
3 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

31 since deposited on 02 Sep 2014
23 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 75879
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Louise Starfelt is the maiden name of Louise Starfelt Sutton
Keywords: alcohol, attribution, blame, consensual qualitative research, perception, rape, responsibility, young adults
DOI: 10.1080/13218719.2014.945639
ISSN: 1934-1687
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 The Australian and New Zealand Association of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law
Deposited On: 02 Sep 2014 23:00
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 13:01

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page