The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students

Mary P. Koss, Christine A. Gidycz, Nadine Wisniewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1734 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because of inadequacies in the methods used to measure sexual assault, national crime statistics, criminal victimization studies, convictions, or incarceration rates fail to reflect the true scope of rape. Studies that have avoided the limitations of these methods have revealed very high rates of overt rape and lesser degrees of sexual aggression. The goal of the present study was to extend previous work to a national basis. The Sexual Experiences Survey was administered to a national sample of 6,159 women and men enrolled in 32 institutions representative of the diversity of higher education settings across the United States. Women's reports of experiencing and men's reports of perpetrating rape, attempted rape, sexual coercion, and sexual contact were obtained, including both the rates of prevalence since age 14 and of incidence during the previous year. The findings support published assertions of high rates of rape and other forms of sexual aggression among large normal populations. Although the results are limited in generalizability to postsecondary students, this group represents 26% of all persons aged 18-24 in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-170
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Volume55
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The Scope of Rape: Incidence and Prevalence of Sexual Aggression and Victimization in a National Sample of Higher Education Students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this