The present study asked whether emotional responses to narratives of moral transgressions are shaped by the reader’s assumed relationship with the injured party (i.e., oneself, familiar other, and unfamiliar other). Its goal was to test a cultural, religious, and individualistic account of such responses in young females of a traditional society in transition towards a sustainable integration into the global economy. To this end, female college students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were asked to identify their emotional reaction to each of several moral transgressions, report its intensity and then judge the severity of the transgression. In agreement with the religious norm hypothesis, whereby others are to be treated as oneself, reported emotions, affective intensity, and moral judgment did not change with students’ relationship with the injured party. The only exception was students’ lenient judgment when feeling angry for being the victim of a transgression, which underlies the tenet of forgiveness in religious doctrine.

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