Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Research has suggested that stereotypes have significant influence over how individuals view women who experience domestic violence (Ayyildiz, 1995; Browne, 1989, 1993; Callahan, 1994; Goodmark, 2008; Jenkins & Davidson, 1990; Mahoney, 1991; Russell & Melillo, 2006; Schneider, 1986; Terrance & Matheson, 2003; Wimberly, 2007). It has also been suggested that battered woman syndrome may not be a complete or appropriate explanation of the emotions and experiences of battered women (Ayyildiz, 2007; Callahan, 1994; Schneider, 1986; Wimberly, 2007). The current study examined the influence of stereotype fit and battered woman syndrome nomenclature on public perceptions of a battered woman who killed her abuser. Participants read one of four newspaper scenarios that varied the stereotype fit of a battered woman and the use of battered woman syndrome nomenclature. They then indicated the degree to which the woman fit the image of a battered woman, her responsibility in the events described in the scenario, and whether or not they viewed her as the victim or perpetrator of a crime. Overall, women were found to be more likely to view the battered woman as a victim and believe she acted in self-defense. Men were more likely to view the woman as a victim only if she fit the stereotypical image of a battered woman. Participants also indicated that they viewed the woman as being mentally stable and believed she was innocent of committing a crime. Together, results indicate that women and men differ in their perceptions of battered women who kill. Implications are discussed.
Bauman, Sonja, "Battered Women Who Kill: Stereotype Influence Through The Media" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 2165.