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Sexual Assault and Rape Perpetration by College Men: The Role of the Big Five Personality Traits

Authors: 
Voller, E. K.,
Long, P. J.
Year Published: 2010
Type: 
Journal Article
Organization: 
SAGE Publications
Series: 
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 25(3); 457-480: March 2010
Source: 
SAGE Publications
Abstract: 

These authors compared rape perpetrators, sexual-assault perpetrators, and nonperpetrators on the big-five broad dimensions of personality as measured by the Revised NEO-Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R). A total of 521 male college students (average age, 20.24 years) completed the NEO-PI-R and an expanded version of the Sexual Experiences Survey. Of these, 38 men (7.29%) reported perpetrating rape, 31 men (5.95%) reported perpetrating sexual assault but not rape, and 424 men reported no perpetration at all; these men were included in the data analyses. Rape perpetrators reported lower levels of Agreeableness and Conscientiousness when compared to both sexual assault perpetrators and nonperpetrators, and lower levels of Extraversion when compared to nonperpetrators. Rape perpetrators also endorsed lower levels of tender-mindedness, excitement-seeking, warmth, positive emotions, feelings, altruism, competence, and dutifulness, and higher levels of vulnerability. Contrary to expectation, overall personality profiles followed remarkably comparable patterns for sexual assault and nonperpetrators, suggesting that sexual assault perpetrators were more similar to nonperpetrators than to rape perpetrators. Findings suggest that individuals who perpetrate sexual offenses, particularly rape, differ from nonperpetrators on dimensions of normal personality. Modified Author Abstract.

Availability: 
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Notes: 
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