Nearly a third of Scots think women can be partly to blame for being raped, according to a survey, which has sparked calls for a campaign to shift attitudes.

The poll, carried out for the Scottish Executive, shows one in 20 Scots think women are mostly or totally responsible if they are raped when drunk or after flirting. Older people are particularly judgmental about women who are sexually attacked after they flirt, get drunk or wear revealing clothes.

The findings have been linked by campaigners on women's safety to the tolerance of pornography in shaping attitudes to women. Public attitudes to rape are being considered as part of a major reform of the way rape is treated within the justice system. Much of that is aimed at increasing the conviction rate for rape, which last year fell, for the first time, below 4% of those reported to police.

A report into police investigation and subsequent prosecution produced 50 recommendations, which were widely welcomed by reform advocates. Seventeen of these have been implemented.

Another part of the reform is being prepared by the Law Commission of Scotland, which is expected later this year to recommend ways in which rape is more clearly defined within the law, and the question of what constitutes a woman's consent is clarified for judges and prosecutors.

The poll, carried out by TNS System Three last January and published this week, also suggests that, while 10% of Scots believe it is acceptable to pay for sex, and 14% think it is acceptable to pay for or view pornography, there is evidence that both are becoming slightly less acceptable.

A clear majority of Scots were found to believe the victim of a rape is never responsible, but there is significance in the large numbers who believe women can be partly to blame.

If the woman is drunk at the time of the attack, 27% think she can be at least partly responsible, with men outnumbering women on that score by 30% to 25%. Some 26% of the sample of 992 Scots say that is the case if the women dresses in revealing clothing.

And 32% say there should be some burden of responsibility for rape if the women is flirting, including 29% of women and 34% of men. A significantly lower figure, 18%, think rape can be the woman's fault if she is known to have had many sexual partners.

If a women was flirting before being sexually attacked, 7% of adults under 24 believe she should be held at least partly responsible, but among those aged 65 and over, that rose to 50%. Of the same elderly group, women wearing revealing clothes were judged to be partly to blame for a rape by 47%, and for being drunk, 42% were willing to point the blame at the victim.

This is the first poll of its kind carried out only in Scotland, though it is in line with a Britain-wide ICM survey for Amnesty International carried out in October 2005.

Sandy Brindley, national co-ordinator of Rape Crisis Scotland, believes an important pillar of the forthcoming reforms is to tackle attitudes to rape, as they shape juries' discussions that often give the benefit of any doubt over evidence to the accused.

"It is deeply alarming that such a significant proportion of the population is prepared to blame women for rape," she said. "These public attitudes can be played out in rape trials."

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said the survey was to help develop policy to address all forms of violence against women.

"Ministers are clear that rape is a despicable crime and those found guilty deserve to be punished," he said.