The mediating effect of hostility toward women on the relationship between childhood emotional abuse and sexual violence perpetration

Alana M. Vivolo-Kantor, Sarah DeGue, David DiLillo, Lorraine E. Cuadra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Some evidence suggests that childhood emotional abuse (CEA) may serve as a risk factor for sexual violence (SV) perpetration; however, little is known about the mechanisms by which CEA may influence SV. This study examined the relationship between CEA and SV by assessing the mediating role of hostility toward women (HTW) in a sample of adjudicated adult males (N = 360). Approximately 1 in 5 participants was classified as sexually violent based on self-reported behavior and/or criminal records. Results indicated that CEA significantly predicted HTW and SV, and HTW significantly predicted SV. As hypothesized, the relationship between CEA and SV was no longer significant after con-trolling for HTW, supporting the role of HTW as a mediator between CEA and SV. Efforts that aim to prevent CEA or that address early aggressive attitudes or behavior toward women may have a positive impact on preventing or reducing SV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-191
Number of pages14
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013



  • Child maltreatment
  • Psychological abuse
  • Rape
  • Sexual coercion
  • Sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Health(social science)
  • Law

Cite this