The role of male sexual arousal in rape: six models

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991 Oct;59(5):621-30. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.59.5.621.


This article examines men's sexual arousal to rape cues and its possible role in sexual assault. The article presents six different models that have been described in the literature to account for men's sexual arousal to descriptions of rape. The models are divided into two broad categories, response control models and stimulus control models, and are further divided into models postulating a "trait" that might distinguish rapists from other men and those postulating a "state" that might be present in men while they commit a sexual assault. A number of the models are supported by empirical data, and some of these data are reviewed. The article suggests that different models may be operating in different men when they commit sexual assault. These models are discussed in relation to the current literature on the classification and diagnosis of sexual offenders.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / psychology
  • Anger
  • Arousal*
  • Cues
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Libido*
  • Male
  • Rape / psychology*