Empathy as a moderator of sexual violence perpetration risk factors among college men

Matthew D. Hudson-Flege, Holly M. Grover, Merita H. Meçe, Athena K. Ramos, Martie P. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined if empathy was a significant moderator of several empirically established risk factors for sexual violence perpetration among college men. Participants: Data are from 544 college men who participated in a longitudinal study from 2008 to 2011 at a large, public university. Methods: Participants completed a self-report survey in their first through fourth years in college. A series of generalized linear models were conducted using sexual violence risk factors and empathy during the sophomore year as predictors of sexual violence perpetration frequency during junior year. Results: Empathy was found to be a significant moderator of six out of the 10 sexual violence risk factors tested, such that high levels of empathy were associated with lower sexual violence perpetration rates among high-risk males. Conclusion: Additional research, including the measurement and evaluation of empathy in implementation of college sexual violence prevention and intervention efforts, should be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-147
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of American College Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 17 2020


  • Empathy
  • rape
  • sexual aggression
  • sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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