Rape Attitude and Behaviour and their Relationship to Moral Development

Carlene Wilson, Sally Godwin, Karen Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Research suggests that up to 50% of men report some likelihood of raping if they know they can get away with it. In order to investigate what self-reported likelihood data might mean, relationships between rape attitude, moral development, and self-reported likelihood of raping were compared between samples of convicted rapists, armed robbers and non-criminal controls. Individual responses on self-reported likelihood of raping an acquaintance and self-reported likelihood of raping a stranger correlated significantly, though moderately, with expressions of pro-rape attitude. The correlations between indices of attitude to rape and moral development, varied between groups, with the highest correlations found in the rapist sample. No significant relationship was revealed between moral development and self-reported likelihood of raping measures. These findings of poor discrimination between convicted rapists and others suggest that self-reported likelihood of raping, general attitude to rape, and moral development may have limited impact on actual rape behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Rape Attitude and Behaviour and their Relationship to Moral Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this