Bystander Effect

Topics: Bystander effect, Kitty Genovese, Diffusion of responsibility Pages: 2 (650 words) Published: May 22, 2013
Question # 3:

The murder of twenty eight year old Catherine (Kitty) Genovese on the morning of March 13th, 1964 was one that would be remembered in history as prompting the discovery of the “bystander effect”.

The 1960’s was an era of change within the United States. The military draft and Vietnam War had caused uproar amongst the youth who now turned to psychoactive drugs for recreation and were slowly succumbing to the rise of the hippie movement. “Free love” stemmed from this movement and viewed the subject of sex as a non taboo natural occurrence free to be engaged in by all. Subsequently, woman who had generally been full time house makers were now joining the work force and discovering “feminist” ideas due to Betty Friedan’s book, The Feminine Mystique. However, these changes did not sit well with many and the majority preferred to stay with their “traditional” ideals on how men and women should behave and their positions in society.

Kitty was the eldest child of five; she grew up in Brooklyn in a Middle-Class Italian American family. Later on in life, Kitty acquired a position as a bar manager for Ev’s Eleventh Hour Sports Bar in Queens and she was known to be a Gay individual due to the fact that she shared her Kew Gardens apartment with her lover Mary Ann Zielonko. Even though the United States was experiencing a cultural revolution, Kitty’s lifestyle was still looked down upon in society. The fact that Ms. Genovese was a female bar manager and worked late hours was especially distressing to many.

Around 3:15 AM, Kitty had returned home from work and parked her car 100 feet away from her apartment building. On her walk home, Kitty was attacked, robbed, raped, and stabbed several times by Winston Moseley. During the attack, Kitty had desperately screamed out for help but not even one call was made to the police by her neighbors until 3:50 AM (30 minutes into the attack). The police responded within minutes of the call, but Kitty was...
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