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

NCJ Number
108037
Journal
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume: 55 Issue: 2 Dated: (April 1987) Pages: 162-170
Author(s)
M P Koss; C A Gidycz; N Wisniewski
Date Published
1987
Length
9 pages
Annotation
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.
Abstract
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 prevalance 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 percent of all persons aged 18-24 in the United States. (Publisher abstract)