Personalities, Attitudes, and Past Experiences
Do acknowledged and unacknowledged victims have different personalities, attitudes, or background experiences that lead them to label their rape experiences differently? In an extensive investigation of this possibility, Koss (1985) found no differences between acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims in dating behaviors, situational aspects of the rape experience, personality, or attitudes about rape. Levine-MacCombie and Koss (1986) found no differences in the resistance strategies used by acknowledged and unacknowledged victims. Finally, Bondurant (1995) found no relationship between rape acknowledgment and endorsement of romantic beliefs.
Our research also has failed to find differences in the personalities, demographics, and past experience of acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims. Kahn et al. (1994) found no differences between types of victim in age, year in school, attendance at a rape seminar, work experience at a sexual assault agency, or acquaintance with another rape victim. Acknowledged and unacknowledged victims did not differ in their estimation of the certainty that rape had occurred in hypothetical assault scenarios. Andreoli Mathie and Kahn (1995) also found no difference between these types of victims on a measure of locus of control. The evidence to date suggests that attitude, personality, and demographic variables do not differentiate between acknowledged and unacknowledged rape victims.