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Trauma, Violence, & Abuse


Background: The prevalence of sexual perpetration in college men is unknown. Prior reviews of sexual violence prevalence rates have produced wide-ranging estimates, likely due to wide variation in measurement strategies.

Objectives: This paper systematically reviewed research findings (from 2000-2017) regarding prevalence rates of sexual perpetration in college men and measurement strategies.

Data Sources: PsycINFO and Web of Science databases.

Eligibility Criteria: Empirical reports published between 2000-2017 that included male participants, available in English, and reported lifetime prevalence findings in Canadian or American college students.

Participants: Data from 78 independent samples including 25,524 college men.

Results: The average prevalence rate of any sexual perpetration was 29.3% (SD = 16.8), and the average rate of rape was 6.5% (SD = 6.3). Studies that used non-Sexual Experiences Survey (SES) based questionnaires recorded higher prevalence rates (41.5%) than SES-using studies (26.2%). At least sixteen different sexual perpetration questionnaires were identified. Modifying standardized questionnaires was extremely common; this was reported in over half the studies. Studies using modified standardized questionnaires found higher prevalence rates of sexual perpetration than studies using non-modified standardized questionnaires.

Limitations: This report focused exclusively on college men in the United States and Canada.

Conclusions and Implications: On average, 29% of college males report engaging in behaviors defined as sexual perpetration; however, there was a strong influence of measurement strategy on reported rates.






This article is has been published by Sage Publishing as: Anderson, R. E., Silver, K. E., Ciampaglia, A. M., Vitale, A. M., & Delahanty, D. L. (2019). The Frequency of Sexual Perpetration in College Men: A Systematic Review of Reported Prevalence Rates From 2000 to 2017. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse.

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How often does sexual perpetration happen in college men.pdf (8900 kB)
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