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Journal Article

Citation

Shackelford TK. Aggressive Behav. 2002; 28(3): 224-232.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2002, International Society for Research on Aggression, Publisher John Wiley and Sons)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Working from an evolutionary psychological perspective, M. Wilson, M. Daly, and J. Scheib [1997. Feminism and Evolutionary Biology. New York: Chapman and Hull. p 431-465] hypothesized and found that reproductive-aged females incur excess risk of rape-murder (being raped and murdered) relative to nonreproductive-aged females and that this excess risk cannot be attributed solely to the greater association of young women with violent, young men. The current research provides the first national-level replication of these findings for the United States. I secured access to a national database of homicides occurring in the United States between 1976 and 1994 and selected for analysis cases in which a female was (1) raped and murdered by a male previously unknown to her or (2) murdered in the context of theft by a male previously unknown to her. Results replicate the work of Wilson et al. [19971 and document that (1) young men commit the majority of rape-murders and theft-murders; (2) young, reproductive-aged women are overrepresented among the victims of rape-murder but (3) are underrepresented among the victims of theft-murder. Discussion acknowledges the uncertain generalizability of theoretical and empirical work on rape-murder to rape not accompanied by murder and addresses two challenges to an evolutionary perspective on rape-murder: (1) Why are nonreproductive-aged females raped? and (2) Why are raped females subsequently murdered?

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