History of Violence

Research has revealed that the childhood histories of rapists include risk factors for violence. One study found that rapists frequently report experiences of physical abuse, parental violence, emotional abuse, and cruelty to animals (Simons, Wurtele & Durham, 2004). Researchers contend that physical abuse, parental violence, and emotional abuse result in externalizing behaviors when they occur in combination. For example, one study found that physical and verbal abuse during childhood led to antisocial behavior and callous personality traits, both of which led to aggressive sexual fantasies (Beauregard, Lussier & Proulx, 2004).

Likewise, research has shown that the combination of physical violence, domestic violence, emotional abuse, and neglect predict subsequent sex offending. Researchers explain that a person who has been raised in an emotionally impoverished environment is often unable to identify his emotions and, as a result, is likely to become confused when in emotionally-charged situations (e.g., Craissati, McClurg, & Browne, 2002). These people often react to confusing situations with overt aggression and violence.

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