University of Georgia Study Links Narcissism to Propensity for Sexual Assault

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Georgia finds that 20 percent of college men committed some act of sexual assault and 4 percent have committed rape. They study found that college-age men who exhibited traits of pathological narcissism were more likely to have committed sexual assault. Narcissists feel a sense of entitlement to anything they want and they lack a sense of empathy toward others, according to the authors of the study. And this makes them prone to behaviors that can lead to sexual assault under some circumstances.

mouilosoEmily R. Mouilso, a clinical assistant professor of psychology and lead author of the study, explains that “having a hostile and angry orientation toward women in general and thinking that relationships are adversarial, it’s more about what can I get out of this person that I want. I don’t really care all that much about they want.”

Dr. Mouilso is a 2007 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in psychology. She earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Georgia in 2014.

The study, “Personality and Perpetration: Narcissism Among College Sexual Assault Perpetrators,” was published in the journal Violence Against Women. It may be accessed here. The co-author of the study is Karen Calhoun, professor emerita of psychology at the University of Georgia.

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