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Keywords:

  • sexual aggressors of women;
  • general deviance;
  • self-control;
  • sexualization;
  • deviant sexual interests;
  • versatility;
  • criminal career

Three hypotheses have been used to describe the male propensity for sexual aggression towards women: a general propensity to offend, a specific propensity to sexually offend and a combination of both. In this paper, using structural equation modeling, we compared the relative utility of these three hypotheses in explaining criminal activity in adulthood of sexual aggressors of women. In total, 209 adult males who were convicted of at least one sexual offence were included in the study. Results indicate that a propensity model emphasizing the role of an early and persistent general propensity to act in an antisocial manner during childhood and adolescence is most adequate to explain sexual aggressors' criminal activity. After controlling for the role of this propensity, a specific propensity characterized by high sexualization and deviant sexual interests explained only a modest proportion of variance of the sexual criminal activity.