Statistical Data

On this page:

A Quantitative Perspective

  • Numerous researchers have assessed the magnitude of date rape from a quantitative perspective.  They argue that the social problem is immense. 
  • Consider these findings that support their conclusion:

Probabilities

  • One in four women is a victim of a rape attack, with as many as 88% of these attacks being acquaintance or date rapes (Bridges, 1991; Pfeiffer, 1990; Thompson, 1995).

  • 7% to 25% of college males report having forced sexual intercourse with women (Holcomb, Holcomb, Sondag, & Williams, (Holcomb, Holcomb, Sondag, & Williams, 1991; Koss, 1989; Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987; Koss & Oros, 1982; Miller & Marshall, 1987; Muehlenhard & Linton, 1987; Rappaport & Burkhart, 1984; Regan, 1997).

  • A rape occurs every seven minutes in the U.S., and 60% of those incidents occur on a date; the majority of victims are between the ages of 15 and 24 (Seligmann, Huck, Joseph, Namuth, Prout, Robinson, & McDaniel, 1984).

  • Perhaps the most cited study, one that has become the benchmark for research in this area, is that of Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski (1987), which reported that 15% of college women will be victims of date rape.Roman">

 

Time and Place

  • Most date rapes occur between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. on weekends and take place on the rapists' turf; they last sometimes up to four hours longer than rapes committed by a stranger, and generally involve perpetrators' use of verbal threats and physical strength to intimidate and overpower victims (Seligmann, Huck, Joseph, Namuth, Prout, Robinson, & McDaniel, 1984).

 

Reporting Assaults

  • It has been proposed that only 10% to 50% of rapes are ever reported to authorities…. The most likely perpetrator of sexual assaults (86% to 99%) will be an acquaintance, not a stranger.…Reports of acquaintance rape are considered to be extremely low as evidenced by Mynatt & Allgeier’s (1990) study of college women that indicates a 6% report rate. (Kopper, 1996, pp.81-82)

  • Additionally, many women have misconceptions of what constitutes rape.  Warshaw (1988) discovered that 73% of the women whose description of their experiences met the legal definition of rape did not recognize themselves as rape victims.

  • Another factor in under-reporting is, as Walton phrases it, the "social stigma" associated with rape and the victims' fear that they will be blamed (1994, p. 199).  Miller and Marshall (1987, p. 39) cite a poignant quotation to support their thesis that women often do not report date rape because they think that they are more to blame than they are in stranger situations.  The quotation is from an interview published in Ms. magazine by Barrett (1982, September, p. 48).  Barrett reported comments from Ellen Doherty, coordinator of the Rape Intervention Program at New York City's St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center: 

"It is one of the hardest things for women to talk about, even to their closest friends, much less to the police.  It’s easier for a woman to believe that there’s no way she could have brought it on herself when a strange man comes out of nowhere and attacks her.  However, when the rapist is a friend or date, not only has her body been violated, but her trust in another human being betrayed, and her faith in her own judgment has been shaken."

 

 

 

Return to Research Findings