Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 241–253 | Cite as

Behavioral Characteristics of Men Accused of Rape: Evidence for Different Types of Rapists



The aim of this study was to determine whether the behavioral characteristics demonstrated by rapists clustered together into groups that were similar to the common rapist typology in the literature: anger, power exploitative, power reassurance, and sadistic. Two studies were conducted to examine the evidence for this typology. Study 1 involved the analysis of data from 130 men charged with sexual assault and Study 2 involved the analysis of court transcripts from 50 rape cases tried through the court system. The results of Study 1 revealed that there was some validity to the characteristics usually associated with each of the four types of rape, especially for the power reassurance and sadistic rapists. However, there were some unexpected outliers within both the anger and power exploitative types of rapists, which may suggest that there is more than one type of anger rapist and more than two types of power rapists. The results of Study 2 very closely replicated the results of Study 1. Future research needs to focus on the behavioral, motivational, and cognitive characteristics associated with each of the types of rapists and research them separately, so that it is possible to further evaluate the evidence for the typology identified in this study.


typology rape rapists sexual assault 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyDeakin UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Psychology, Deakin UniversityBurwood, VictoriaAustralia

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