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Behavioural characteristics of rapists
journal contributionposted on 2005-09-01, 00:00 authored by M McCabe, M Wauchope
A substantial proportion of past research on rapists has focused on their motives. This paper reports on two studies that investigated the behavioural characteristics of rapists. The first study gathered behavioural data from police rape files to determine the types of behaviours exhibited by 130 men charged with rape. The second study was designed to validate the behavioural clusters found in study 1, using the transcripts of court cases from a sample of 50 accused rapists. The results demonstrated a high level of consistency in the behaviours of the accused rapists in the two studies. Rapists were most frequently a stranger, the rape occurred frequently in the victim's home, and the rapist used a range of different ways to communicate verbally with his victim. Five behavioural themes were identified in both studies: vaginal, kissing/fondling, oral, anal and brutal/physical themes. This analysis of the behavioural aspects of rape provides an understanding of the types of behaviours exhibited by men who reach the stage of court proceedings for the crime of rape. The difference between the current behavioural profile and that reported by members of the general community who have experienced rape is discussed.