Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 41, Issue 5, pp 1107–1119 | Cite as

Women’s Rape Fantasies: An Empirical Evaluation of the Major Explanations

  • Jenny M. Bivona
  • Joseph W. Critelli
  • Michael J. Clark
Original Paper


This study evaluated explanations of rape fantasy in a sample of female undergraduates (N = 355) using a sexual fantasy checklist which included eight types of rape fantasy, participants’ detailed descriptions of a rape fantasy they have had, a rape fantasy scenario audio presentation, and measures of personality. Three explanations of rape fantasy were tested: openness to sexual experience, sexual desirability, and sexual blame avoidance. Women who were higher in erotophilia and self-esteem and who had more frequent consensual sexual fantasies and more frequent desirability fantasies, particularly of performing as a stripper, had more frequent rape fantasies. Women who were higher in erotophilia, openness to fantasy, desirability fantasies, and self-esteem reported greater sexual arousal to rape fantasies. Sexual blame avoidance theory was not supported; sexual desirability theory was moderately supported; openness to sexual experience theory received the strongest support.


Rape Rape fantasy Sexual fantasy Personality Forced sex Submission 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jenny M. Bivona
    • 1
  • Joseph W. Critelli
    • 1
  • Michael J. Clark
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North TexasDentonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Social ResearchUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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