Women's rape fantasies: an empirical evaluation of the major explanations

Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Oct;41(5):1107-19. doi: 10.1007/s10508-012-9934-6. Epub 2012 Apr 28.


This study evaluated explanations of rape fantasy in a sample of female undergraduates (N = 355) using a sexual fantasy checklist which included eight types of rape fantasy, participants' detailed descriptions of a rape fantasy they have had, a rape fantasy scenario audio presentation, and measures of personality. Three explanations of rape fantasy were tested: openness to sexual experience, sexual desirability, and sexual blame avoidance. Women who were higher in erotophilia and self-esteem and who had more frequent consensual sexual fantasies and more frequent desirability fantasies, particularly of performing as a stripper, had more frequent rape fantasies. Women who were higher in erotophilia, openness to fantasy, desirability fantasies, and self-esteem reported greater sexual arousal to rape fantasies. Sexual blame avoidance theory was not supported; sexual desirability theory was moderately supported; openness to sexual experience theory received the strongest support.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Fantasy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Personality
  • Rape / psychology*
  • Self Concept
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Women / psychology