Rebecca Ortiz, assistant professor of advertising, co-authored the paper “A Social Identity Threat Perspective on Why Partisans May Engage in Greater Victim Blaming and Sexual Assault Myth Acceptance in the #MeToo Era” with Newhouse Ph.D. candidate Andrea Smith. The paper was published by Violence Against Women, a peer-reviewed journal from Sage Journals.
“We found that the stronger the partisan identity of Republicans and Democrats, the more likely they were to engage in victim-blaming attitudes and the less likely they were to perceive the #MeToo movement as having a positive impact in the United States, possibly as a way of defending their political identities,” says Ortiz.
This study examined how U.S. partisans (N = 1,154) may engage in greater victim blaming and sexual assault myth acceptance to defend their political identities in the #MeToo era. The more Republicans and Democrats identified with being a member of their political party and reported feeling defensive when members from their political party are criticized, the more accepting they were of common sexual assault myths and thus the less likely they were to perceive sexual assault as a serious issue in need of addressing and the #MeToo movement as having a positive impact in the United States.