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Who is most at risk of becoming a convicted rapist?: the likelihood of a rape conviction among the 1966 birth cohort in Denmark

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date06/2005
JournalJournal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention
Number of pages18
Original languageEnglish


The conventional response to the atrocious crime of rape is punishment. However, the aim of criminal justice organizations should be to prevent the behaviour occurring in the first place. Using results from a prospective study of all boys born in 1966 in Denmark where those convicted of rape (N=96) between the ages of 15 and 27 years are compared with those who are not (N=43,307), various risk factors are identified. Identifying risk factors does not produce a panacea but illustrates a possible prevention programme. While recognizing that those convicted of rape may not be representative of all those committing rape, prevention of rape may usefully be associated with enhancing the life chances of fathers and sons, in providing greater support for those who have been in foster/residential care, and in recognizing that parental or personal psychiatric illness may have serious consequences. The fact that the risk factors for future violence are similar to those for rape endorses the point that rape is essentially a violence offence rather than a sex offence. It further demonstrates that prevention programmes for rape will have associated benefits.1