Sex Roles

, Volume 42, Issue 9–10, pp 807–823

Beliefs About the Causes of Four Types of Rape

  • Gloria Cowan

DOI: 10.1023/A:1007042215614

Cite this article as:
Cowan, G. Sex Roles (2000) 42: 807. doi:10.1023/A:1007042215614


Beliefs about the causes of stranger, acquaintance, date, and partner rape and treatment and punishment for the types of rape were examined among college students. Three causes of rape—victim precipitation, male pathology, and male hostility—varied as a function of the type of rape, with female precipitation higher for partner and date rape than for acquaintance and stranger rape. Male hostility and male pathology were lowest for partner rape. These findings suggest that the perceived causes of rape that blame the perpetrator or victim, rather than societal or general causes of rape, vary with the type of rape. Recommended punishment varied directly with the closeness of the relationship. Additionally, gender differences and interactions of gender and ethnicity (Caucasian and Hispanics) were found across type of rape.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gloria Cowan
    • 1
  1. 1.California State UniversitySan Bernardino

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