Cross-Sectional Predictors of Sexual Assault Perpetration in a Community Sample of Single African American and Caucasian Men

Aggress Behav. 2006 Feb;32(1):54-67. doi: 10.1002/ab.20107. Epub 2005 Oct 3.


Computer-assisted self-interviews were completed with a random sample of 163 unmarried Caucasian and African American men in a large metropolitan area. Almost a quarter (24.5%) of these men acknowledged committing an act since the age of 14 that met standard legal definitions of attempted or completed rape; an additional 39% had committed another type of sexual assault involving forced sexual contact or verbal coercion. An expanded version of the Malamuth et al. [1991] confluence model was examined using path analysis. The number of sexual assaults perpetrated by participants was associated with the direct or indirect effects of childhood sexual abuse, adolescent delinquency, alcohol problems, sexual dominance, positive attitudes about casual sexual relationships, and pressure from peers to engage in sexual relationships. Additionally, empathy buffered the relationship between sexual dominance and perpetration. The pattern of results was highly similar for African American and Caucasian men. The implications of these findings for sexual assault measurement are discussed and suggestions are made for alternative treatment programs.

Keywords: alcohol problems; community samples; computer-assisted self-interviews; etiology; sexual assault perpetration; sexual dominance.