The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classified convicted rapists into 4 main groups based on the perceived motivation.


Primary motivators:

(1) sexual expression

(2) aggression


Dominant Motivator




rape fantasies

power reassurance


impulsive predatory act






sadistic fantasies



Features of power reassurance type:

(1) history of sexual preoccupation, often perverted and intense

(2) sexual arousal with loss of self-control

(3) distorted perception of victim's attitude (victim wants and enjoys it; victim will fall in love)

(4) feels sexually inadequate and seeks to feel a sense of power


Features of exploitative type:

(1) impulsive act as a result of an opportunity

(2) often prowls looking for victims to exploit

(3) intends to achieve dominance by having the victim submit

(4) has no concern about the victim's welfare


Features of anger type:

(1) history of real or imagined injuries that justify rage

(2) violence may range from verbal abuse to murder


Features of sadistic type:

(1) the rapist may initially start to seduce the victim, but loses control as sexual arousal develops

(2) engages in sadistic violence, which may target a particular part of the victim's body (breasts, buttocks, genitals, etc.)


NOTE: Additional type of rape may occur during warfare.

(1) sack or conquest-related, where soldiers go berserk after a period of intense combat

(2) systematic, coordinated degradation or terrorization of the enemy population


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