Vol. 6, Issue 2, july 2014

Documents

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Stop Harassment! Men’s reactions to victims’ confrontation Stop Harassment! Men’s reactions to victims’ confrontation

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M. Carmen Herrera, Antonio Herrera, and Francisca Expósito

Abstract

Sexual harassment is one of the most widespread forms of gender violence. Perceptions of sexual harassment depend on gender, context, the perceivers’ ideology, and a host of other factors. Research has underscored the importance of coping strategies in raising a victim’s self-confidence by making her feel that she plays an active role in overcoming her own problems. The aim of this study was to assess the men’s perceptions of sexual harassment in relation to different victim responses. The study involved 101 men who were administered a questionnaire focusing on two of the most frequent types of harassment (gender harassment vs. unwanted sexual attention) and victim response (confrontation vs. non confrontation), both of which were manipulated. Moreover, the influences of ideological variables, ambivalent sexism, and the acceptance of myths of sexual harassment on perception were also assessed. The results highlight the complexities involved in recognizing certain behaviors as harassment and the implications of different victim responses to incidents of harassment. As the coping strategies used by women to confront harassment entail drawbacks that pose problems or hinder them, the design and implementation of prevention and/or education programs should strive to raise awareness among men and women to further their understanding of this construct.

Keywords: Sexual harassment; Ambivalent sexism; Confrontation; Myths; Sexist ideology.

Behavioral problems and depressive symptomatology as predictors of child-toparent violence Behavioral problems and depressive symptomatology as predictors of child-toparent violence

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Izaskun Ibabe, Ainara Arnoso, and Edurne Elgorriaga

Abstract

The number of complaints filed by parents against their children nationwide has increased dramatically, particularly since 2005. The aim of this study was to examine whether young offenders who had been charged for violence against their parents presented different psychological problems from youngsters charged with other types of offence and non-offenders. Data from 231 adolescents of both sexes aged 14 to 18 years and living in the Basque Country (Spain) were analyzed. Of these, 106 were offenders and the rest were from a community sample. Some of the offenders had been charged with child-to-parent violence (n = 59), while the rest of them had not (n = 47). Offenders who had assaulted or abused their parents presented more behavior problems outside home and more characteristics associated with depressive symptomatology than offenders of other types or non-offenders. Certain psychological problems in adolescents could precipitate family conflict situations and leave parents unable to control their children. Findings highlight the need for offenders charged with child-to-parent violence to receive individual psychological therapy.

Keywords: Domestic violence; Child-to-parent violence; Young offender; Adolescence; Behavior problems; Depressive symptomatology.

Perpetrator characteristics and blame attributions in a stranger rape situation Perpetrator characteristics and blame attributions in a stranger rape situation

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Leif A. Strömwall, Sara Landström, and Helen Alfredsson

Abstract

Both real-life events and research show that rape victims are sometimes blamed for their victimization. The effect of perpetrator characteristics on victim blaming has rarely been studied. In an experiment using a community sample (N = 161), we investigated the effect of the perpetrator’s previous conviction and age, as well as participants’ gender and belief in a just world (BJW) on blame attributions using a vignette methodology. It was predicted that less victim blame and more perpetrator blame would be attributed when the perpetrator had a previous conviction. Results showed that level of BJW was associated with victim blame (positively) and perpetrator blame (negatively). Men blamed the victim more and women blamed the victim less when the perpetrator had a previous conviction. Women blamed the perpetrator more and men less when the perpetrator had a previous conviction. Hence, gender is an important factor in explaining variation in blame attributions.

Keywords: Rape victims; Victim blame attributions; Perpetrator blame attributions; Perpetrator characteristics; Belief in a just world.

Differential profile in partner aggressors: Prison vs. mandatory community intervention programs Differential profile in partner aggressors: Prison vs. mandatory community intervention programs

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Jesús J. García-Jiménez, Carmen Godoy-Fernández, Bartolomé Llor-Esteban, and José Antonio Ruiz-Hernández

Abstract

In Spain, there are two types of sentence for partner aggressors: prison sentence and the alternative measure, specifically psychosocial intervention programs. The goal of this study was to determine differences in the delinquent and psychopathological profile of these aggressors as a function of the prison sentence received, for which the models proposed by Dutton (1995) and Holtzworth-Munroe and Stuart (1994) were followed. The sample was made up of 50 incarcerated aggressors and 40 men sentenced to mandatory community orders. The variables were obtained through a mixed method, with supervision of penitentiary case files, clinical interview for personality disorder (SCID-II), and self-reports for the personality profile (NEO-PI-R). Binary logistic regression was used to identify the final model, which best reveals the differences between both groups. The results describe the incarcerated aggressors’ profile as having more altered risk factors at the socioeconomic, delinquent, and psychopathological levels. The three variables that increase the probability of belonging to the prison inmate group, according to the final model obtained were: use of weapons, drug consumption, and personality disorder. In contrast to other investigations, the high incidence in the outcomes of the target variables, mainly drug use and personality disorder, makes us wonder whether the diagnostic method used influenced the results in contrast to the exclusive use of self-reports, a goal to be confirmed in future studies.

Keywords: Partner violence; Delinquent profile; Psychopathology; Prison inmates; Mandatory community orders; Personality disorder.

Opinions of legal professionals: Comparing child and adult witnesses’ memory report capabilities Opinions of legal professionals: Comparing child and adult witnesses’ memory report capabilities

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Jens Knutsson and Carl Martin Allwood

Abstract

The opinions of legal professionals about child and adult witnesses might influence the likelihood that a case is allowed to proceed through the different stages of the legal process. With the aim of knowing the opinions of legal practitioners about child and adult witnesses, 84 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) were surveyed about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitness memory (and metamemory) abilities. The respondents answered 27 questions relating to nine forensically relevant belief areas in which they compared the memory ability of children (ages 7 to 11 years) and adults. The results showed no differences in assessment among members of different professions and a general trend suggesting that, across the professions, children were believed to be poorer witnesses than adults regarding their memory abilities. Moreover, the professionals’ within-group consensus was very low. These results are discussed in the context of eyewitness research findings and with respect to the implications for both legal and research practice.

Keywords: Eyewitnesses; Legal professionals; Opinions; Children; Adults; Event memory; Metamemory.

Pathological publishing: A new psychological disorder with legal consequences? Pathological publishing: A new psychological disorder with legal consequences?

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Gualberto Buela-Casal

Abstract

The present study deals with an important problem that currently affects scientists and society, namely, the falsification and manipulation of research and researchers’ CVs, which has considerably increased in recent years. This is shown by some studies, the authors of which have found high percentages of researchers who falsify their CV or manipulate data. We analyze the system used to evaluate science and researchers, which is almost exclusively based on the impact factor. We review the main critiques on the inappropriate use of the impact factor to assess researchers and argue that this has generated a new style of thinking in which the only goal is to obtain publications with an impact factor. Over the last few years, the pressure to publish has led to an obsession among researchers to disseminate the multiple indicators of their scientific publications over the Internet, to the extent that such initiatives look like marketing campaigns where researchers advertise themselves. For all these reasons, we propose that this may be a new psychological disorder, given that several criteria indicating maladaptation are clearly met: falsification and/or manipulation of data, falsification of publication indicators, distortion of reality, belief in manipulated data, and an obsession to conduct marketing campaigns of oneself. We address the important ethical and legal implications of such falsifications. Finally, we discuss the need to change the system used to evaluate science and researchers, which undoubtedly promotes these dishonest behaviors or this psychological dysfunction.

Keywords: Pathological publishing; Psychological disorder; Scientific fraud; Scientific misconduct; Research misconduct; Research malpractice; Legal and ethical consequences.