initiatives assume that the vast majority of campus and military rapes are
committed by a small group of perpetrators labeled serial rapists or serial
predators. The scientific foundation for
this perspective is limited; often not peer reviewed, and lacks
replication. This presentation will
discuss empirical evidence based on a longitudinal trajectory analysis that
undermines the assumption of serial predators.
The studies that support the notion of serial rapists will be
critiqued. Suggestions for researchers,
practitioners, advocates, and policy makers will be offered. We suggest the need to (1) exercise more
caution in the language used to characterize men who rape; (2) promote sexual
and relationship health before high school rapes begin; (3) recognize the
heterogeneity of rapists and avoid one-size-fits-all institutional responses to
misconduct resolution or sexual violence prevention; and (4) prioritize
procedures to identify rapists who are persisting across time.