Inability to Empathize: Feminization of Shame and Stigma

Jennifer Huck, (she/her)
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice, Carroll University

Megan Homer
Graduate Student, Indiana University of Pennsylvania



Surveys gained information about rape culture, shame, and stigma in connection to #metoo social media characterizations. Participants interpreted three #metoo scenarios to provide qualitative responses. These responses were coded to see the type of stigma and shame used in media responses in connection to gender and sex of participant. Early analysis illustrates masculine males are more prone to victim blame and respond with negative shame towards the original #metoo poster. Females who hold empathy were more likely to demonstrate their compassion and empathic responses to the original poster. These patterns suggest a feminization of shame and stigma is necessary to break the foundational holds of rape myths and rape culture has upon sexual assault victims’ vulnerability in sharing their stories.

1 thought on “Inability to Empathize: Feminization of Shame and Stigma”

  1. Thank you for sharing your research. Will this YouTube link continue to work after the conference ends? I would love to share your findings with students in my Women’s Studies class.

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