McKibbin, W.F., Shackelford, T.K., Miner, E. J., Bates, V. M., & Liddle, J. R. (2011). Individual differences in women’s rape avoidance behaviors. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40, 343-349.

Individual Differences in Women’s Rape Avoidance Behaviors

William F. McKibbin, Todd K. Shackelford, Emily J. Miner, Vincent M. Bates & James R. Liddle


Rape can exact severe psychological, physical, and reproductive costs on women, and likely was a recurrent adaptive problem over human evolutionary history. Therefore, women may have evolved psychological mechanisms that motivate rape avoidance behaviors. Guided heuristically by an evolutionary perspective, we tested the hypothesis that women’s rape avoidance behaviors would vary with several individual difference variables. Specifically, we predicted that rape avoidance behaviors would covary positively with (1) women’s attractiveness, (2) women’s involvement in a committed romantic relationship, and (3) the number of family members living nearby. We also predicted that women’s rape avoidance behaviors would covary negatively with age. We administered the Rape Avoidance Inventory (McKibbin et al.,Pers Indiv Differ 39:336–340, 2009) and a demographic survey to a sample of women (n=144). The results of correlational and regression analyses were consistent with the predictions, with the exception that women’s rape avoidance behaviors did not covary with women’s age. Discussion highlighted limitations of the current research and directions for future research on women’s rape avoidance psychology and behaviors.

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