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The Influence of Emotional Affect on Sexual Assault

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
Date created
This study examines the influence of emotional affect on an offender’s decision-making during a sexual assault event. Based on 507 convicted sexual offenders, regressions were used to assess if emotional affective states lead an offender to utilize excessive levels of physical force and inflict a greater degree of physical injuries during an assault event. Findings indicate that negative emotional states, such as anger, increase the likelihood of an offender using excessive physical force during the assault event. Further findings suggest that negative emotional states also increase the likelihood of the offender inflicting higher levels of victim injury. Results suggest that emotional affect has a narrowing effect on an offender’s decision-making process. The findings also indicate that emotional states prior to the sexual assault event are not significantly associated with either excessive physical force or violent, injurious outcomes. Theoretical and prevention implications are discussed.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Beauregard, Eric
Thesis advisor: Andresen, Martin
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