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Rapists Among Us? Rape Proclivity and Correlates in a New Zealand Sample of Men

Rates of rape proclivity reported by men have remained relatively unchanged since the infancy of rape proclivity research. International studies have found that a significant number of men admit to having some proclivity for rape, a proclivity that is associated with a range of sexually coercive and sexually aggressive behaviours. The purpose of this research was to explore the proposition that many men are attracted to rape in the New Zealand context. The first aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of self-reported rape proclivity in a New Zealand community sample of men (N = 118). The second aim was to explore the relationship between rape proclivity and theoretically-related attitudes and beliefs including rape myth acceptance, hostile sexism, benevolent sexism, adversarial sexual beliefs and the acceptance of interpersonal violence. Findings confirmed that the rate of self-reported rape proclivity was similar to those found in international samples, with men more willing to admit to some likelihood of rape when responding to behavioural descriptors than explicit questions. Rape proclivity was associated with theoretically-related attitudes and beliefs in the expected direction. Furthermore, there was a clear difference in responding between men who reported no likelihood of rape and men responding that they perceived were somewhat likely to rape. The implications of these findings for those who work with men in this area include the need to acknowledge that strategies to raise awareness of rape and rape myths do not appear to be effective in isolation, and the need to develop more effective methods of addressing rape proclivity to impact on rates of sexual coercion and assault.
Type of thesis
Tapara, A. (2017). Rapists Among Us? Rape Proclivity and Correlates in a New Zealand Sample of Men (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11123
University of Waikato
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