Keywords: intimate partner violence, moral foundations, victim blaming, non-consensual dissemination of one’s sexual images.
Literature on sexual violence and intimate partner violence has demonstrated the key role of morality in victim blaming. The present study aimed to investigate how moral foundations – and in particular progressivism, meant as the prioritization of the individualizing over the binding foundations – may influence attitudes toward victims and perpetrators of another form of violence, i.e., non-consensual dissemination of one’s sexual images. This is one of the main forms of image-based sexual abuse and involves the online distribution of sexually explicit images or videos without the consent of the individual in the pictures. The perpetrator is often an ex-partner who obtains images or videos in the course of a prior relationship, and aims to publicly shame and humiliate the victim. Participants were 613 Italian adults (20.8% male). Results have shown that progressivism was negatively related to victim blaming and positively to perpetrator blaming. Furthermore, empathy toward the victim mediated the relationship between progressivism and attitudes toward the victim and the perpetrator. Implications are discussed.