Peer Reviewed

Some youngsters will rape if nobody would know: Study

A shocking study in the US has revealed that one-third of college-going youngsters might rape a woman if they could get away with it.

Nearly 32 percent of participants said that they would have “intentions to force a woman to sexual intercourse” if “nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences”, found researchers from University of North Dakota, the US.

For the small yet significant study that involved 73 young adults, the researchers asked the participants whether they endorsed forced sex and whether they endorsed rape.

They found that those men willing to admit to intentions to rape harboured hostility – such as the belief that women are manipulative or deceitful – and had “angry and unfriendly” attitudes toward women, Newsweek reported.

The college-going students who admitted to an intention to rape only if it is described as an “intention to use force” tended to have callous sexual attitudes.

“Those people that do say that they might use force to have sex with someone, but they would not call it rape, they seem to exhibit high levels of callous sexual attitudes and almost the opposite of hostility,” said Sarah R. Edwards, assistant professor of counselling psychology at University of North Dakota.

In other words, these people might think that acting sexually aggressively is the right way for a man to act, said the study.

The paper appeared in the journal Violence and Gender.


Edwards Sarah R., Bradshaw Kathryn A., and Hinsz Verlin B. Denying Rape but Endorsing Forceful Intercourse: Exploring Differences Among Responders. Violence and Gender. December 2014, 1(4): 188-193. doi:10.1089/vio.2014.0022.

more recommended stories