Security Research

Sexual aggression in young men

Project Management  
and implementation:   Dr. Birgitt Haller
Cooperation with:   IFES Institute for empirical research GmbH, Vienna
Financed by:   Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, and Consumers′ Protection
Concluded in:   October 2013

The study aimed at providing Austrian data for the EU research project "Youth Sexual Aggression and Victimization – Y-SAV", and beyond this, it was intended to find empirical evidence for the thesis that migrant men are more sexually aggressive than autochthonous Austrians. (This thesis is based on the overrepresentation of migrants among men who are reported by the police because of being suspected of rape.)

302 men aged 18 to 25 and living in Vienna filled in a questionnaire in a face-to-face, but unobserved setting. The data were analyzed in two ways: on the one hand along ethnicity, on the other hand along the criterion of (not) having become a perpetrator until now: 22 per cent had already used sexual violence (and 20 per cent had become victimized by a woman).

Looking at ethnicity, Turkish migrants were overrepresented in total, but not in all aspects of various forms of violence.

What makes a huge difference between perpetrators and non-perpetrators are experiences in childhood and youth (disrespect, lack of love, witnessing physical violence in the family), and – even more importantly – experiences of sexual abuse.

The analyses of the questionnaires afforded insights into the relevance of various risk factors for sexual behavior, but nevertheless, many questions remain open – e.g. concerning the importance of (group-related) images of masculinity or differences in respond behavior. Answers to such questions can only be found by using qualitative research.