Nonstranger sexual aggression: A discriminant analysis of the psychological characteristics of undetected offenders

Abstract

Rape is an underreported and underconvicted crime. Therefore, many highly sexually aggressive men are missed by research employing judicial identification for sample selection. The present study examined the psychological characteristics of three types of undetected sexually aggressive men who had assaulted female acquaintances. Subjects were selected on the basis of their responses to the Sexual Experiences Survey and completed questionnaires that reflected psychological variables relevant to two major theoretical models of rape, the psychopathology model and the social control/social conflict model. Data were analyzed via discriminant analysis. The groups were significantly discriminated by seven variables, including six rape-supportive attitudes. The findings support a social control/social conflict explanation of nonstranger sexual aggression.

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Correspondence to Mary P. Koss.

Additional information

This research was supported by Grant Number MH31618 from the National Center for the Prevention and Control of Rape. The authors gratefully acknowledge the statistical assistance of Linda Elman and Chris Gidycz as well as comments on earlier drafts by Michele Paludi and Stuart Taylor.

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Koss, M.P., Leonard, K.E., Beezley, D.A. et al. Nonstranger sexual aggression: A discriminant analysis of the psychological characteristics of undetected offenders. Sex Roles 12, 981–992 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00288099

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Keywords

  • Theoretical Model
  • Social Psychology
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Sample Selection
  • Sexual Experience