Could it be the Just World Hypothesis? This dates back to research byMelvin Lerner which showed that subjects asked to evaluate someone undergoing painful electric shocks (they were fake, don't worry) tended to rate the victim far less favourably if they were told their suffering would continue. If they were told they'd be rewarded in the end, people rated the victim far more favourably. The worse the victim apparently suffered, the worse the subject's opinion of them was.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
… Julie Burchill, transphobia and hostility towards the victims of oppression | Dean Burnett | Science | guardian.co.uk. (Hat tip, Julie Chovanes.)