Public Image of Rapists and its Comparison with their Characteristics on the National Statistics

사람들이 생각하는 강간 범죄자의 표상: 실제 국내 강간 범죄자와의 비교를 중심으로

  • 박지선 (국립경찰대학 행정학과) ;
  • 박인선 (서울대 심리학과 대학원)
  • Received : 2011.06.28
  • Accepted : 2011.08.16
  • Published : 2011.09.28


We often find that we, as a social group, share stereotypes of criminals. For the present study we investigated the stereotypes of rapists, and examined if they match their characteristics on the national crime statistics in Korea. Collecting data from 82 college students and 91 police officers, we compared stereotypes about rapists with the characteristics of those reported on the national crime statistics. As a result, we found that both college students and police officers have distorted stereotypes of rapists which are not consistent with their characteristics. More specifically, both college students and police officers believed that rapists came from broken families and that they were likely to have more previous criminal convictions than they actually did. In addition, both college students and police officers believed that rapists tended to recidivate within a short period of time, e.g. 1-3 months, which is much shorter than the time that actually took for them to recidivate. Finally, suggestions for future research were made.


Rape;Fear of Sexual Offense;Rape Myth;Image of a Rapist;Offender Background Characteristics


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