Comparison of Clinical Characteristics, Gender Perceptions, and Rape-Related Beliefs of People Assessed for Criminal Liability for Rape Against Children and Adults

Ender CESUR, Görkem YILMAZ, İlker TAŞDEMİR, Barış SANCAK, Fatma Nuray CANSUNAR
2024 35(1): 14-23
DOI: 10.5080/u26936
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Objective: This study aimed to compare the criminal, sociodemographic
and clinical characteristics, paraphilic behaviors, sexual attitudes, gender
perceptions, and rape-related beliefs of people assessed for criminal
liability for rape against adults and children.
Method: The study compared 40 people investigated for criminal
liability for rape against an adult (RAA) with 40 individuals investigated
for criminal liability for crime of rape against a child (RAC), and 43 age,
sex and education matched individuals without any sexual crime history
using the Structured Clinical Interview form for DSM-5 disorders,
Hendrick Brief Sexual Attitude Scale, Gender Perception Scale, Illinois
Rape Myth Acceptance Scale, and Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11.
Results: All participants were male. There was no difference between
the groups in terms of lifelong or existing psychiatric diseases. All
participants had full criminal responsibility during the crime. No
participant in any group was diagnosed with a paraphilic disorder. It
was determined that people in both RAC and RAA groups tended to
use sexuality as a tool, paid less attention to birth control methods, had
a far less egalitarian perception of gender, and their myths about rape
were significantly higher compared to the control group. The control
group was much more impulsive than the sex offenders.
Conclusion: Our results show that the act of sexual assault should
not be explained only by impulsivity or psychiatric disorders, and that
gender perception and sexual myths may also be influential. The fact
that all individuals had full criminal responsibility emphasizes the need
for more research on the social and cultural origins of sexual violence.
Keywords: Rape, Sexual Assault, Criminal Responsibility, Gender,
Rape Myths