A cross-disciplinary review of empirical studies addressing repeat versus time-limited sexual violence perpetration

Kevin M. Swartout, Brooke A. de Heer, Martie P. Thompson, Heidi M. Zinzow, Carolyn L. Brennan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The goal of this review is to better understand rape and sexual violence perpetrators by synthesizing research conducted across incarcerated, college-student, and community samples. In doing so we explore prevalence and characteristics of the repeat/serial versus time-limited sexual violence perpetrators. There are parallel literatures on this general topic in the criminology and psychology/public health literatures; however, despite substantial conceptual overlap, few attempts have been made to integrate the findings up to this point. Given the occasionally conflicting views on how subtypes of perpetrators should be defined, a comprehensive review of the literature is needed to understand the characteristics of different perpetrator subtypes and to create more targeted approaches to treatment and prevention. This review highlights commonalities across studies which, despite different methodologies, support the finding that both incarcerated and nonincarcerated perpetrators can be differentiated based on the severity of tactics used (i.e., verbal coercion versus physical force). Directions for future research to facilitate the creation of a more cohesive model of perpetrator subtypes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEngaging Boys and Men in Sexual Assault Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, and Practice
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128192023
ISBN (Print)9780128192887
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Criminologists
  • Heterogeneous
  • Perpetrators
  • Physical force
  • Rape
  • Repeat perpetration
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual violence
  • Violent behaviors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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