Perceptions of male rape: An investigation of victim empathy

Ruth Fullwood, Philip Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research examining male victims of rape is often dated and is largely a neglected area of study. The current paper presents a contemporary empirical study which aims to address this shortfall in the literature and consider how gender identity, sexuality and age may influence an individual’s empathy towards a male rape victim. A total of 169 participants filled out an online questionnaire including a 60-item empathy quotient and 4 scenarios depicting a male rape victim who was either heterosexual, homosexual or transgender. One scenario was presented where the victim’s sexuality was not disclosed. Although preliminary t-tests were significant, all multiple regression results were not significant. It can therefore be concluded that gender identity, sexuality and/or age were significantly related to empathy shown towards a victim. Each variable, however, does not predict each other variable. Future implications, in terms of research and practice, are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-28
Number of pages12
JournalAbuse: An International Impact Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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