Is knowledge power? the effects of a victimology course on victim blaming

Kathleen A. Fox, Carrie L. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The current study examines the impact of a victimology course on students' perceptions of the blameworthiness of crime victims and knowledge of victimization issues. Victim-blaming attitudes among college students enrolled in a victimology course were compared with students enrolled in other courses. Results from a pretest and posttest suggest that the victimology students were significantly less likely to blame victims and these students also gained significantly more knowledge over time compared with the students who did not enroll in the course. Results from the multivariate analysis indicate that less knowledge over time and a higher propensity to blame victims at the beginning of the semester predicted more victim-blaming attitudes on the posttest. Overall, the findings suggest that knowledge of victimology significantly affects students' propensity to blame victims of crime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3407-3427
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • college students
  • knowledge
  • victim blaming
  • victimology course

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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