Date of Award

5-7-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kevin Swartout, PhD

Second Advisor

Sarah Cook, PhD

Third Advisor

Dominic Parrott, PhD

Abstract

Despite the vast body of research on outcomes of sexual violence victimization, little is known about the psychological outcomes of sexual violence perpetration. This omission is significant, due to the fact that preventing recidivism may depend on treatment of identified perpetrators. The purpose of the current thesis is to examine the psychological responses to perpetrating sexual violence with a qualitative analysis of first-hand accounts of sexual violence perpetration, obtained from anonymous posts on Reddit.com. The analysis revealed four primary emotional outcomes to perpetrating sexual violence: shame, remorse, depression, and anger. The four themes appeared independently and were associated with different contextual themes. Remorse, unlike the other themes, co-occurred with reports of self-growth, indicating that remorse may be a more adaptive outcome. The results also indicated that the social context played an important role in perpetrator outcomes. These findings have important clinical implications for the treatment of perpetrators.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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