Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 30 Mar 2016 Narcissists more lik ...

Narcissists more likely to commit sexual assaults: study

PTI
Published Mar 30, 2016, 4:36 pm IST
Updated Mar 30, 2016, 4:35 pm IST
Men with vulnerable narcissistic traits were more likely to use alcohol or other date-rape drugs to incapacitate their victims.
Narcissists feel a sense of entitlement to anything they want, something that makes it easier for them to rationalise their aggressive behaviours. (Photo: Pixabay)
 Narcissists feel a sense of entitlement to anything they want, something that makes it easier for them to rationalise their aggressive behaviours. (Photo: Pixabay)

Washington: Men with characteristics of pathological narcissism are more likely to commit sexual crimes such as assault and rape, a new US study has found.

Almost 20 per cent of college men have committed some kind of sexual assault, and 4 per cent have committed rape, researchers from University of Georgia said.

 

The study found a strong connection between pathological narcissism and sexual assault perpetration through a survey of 234 male university students, mostly in their first and second years of college. "People who demonstrate characteristics of pathological narcissism have difficulties when it comes to relating to others," said Emily Mouilso from the University of Georgia.

Non-pathological narcissism, on the other hand, can be somewhat beneficial because it manifests in high self-esteem and makes it easier for people to shake off failures, which researchers sometime call the "healthy" form of narcissism.

 

"As we predicted, the aspects of narcissism that we thought would be related were (related) - the lack of empathy, the entitlement aspects of narcissism. Vulnerable narcissists express high levels of self-esteem but are actually very
insecure," said Mouilso. The study found that men with vulnerable narcissistic
traits were more likely to use alcohol or other date-rape drugs to incapacitate their victims, a finding that is especially concerning on a college campus.

"I think people do not realise how prevalent drinking is in colleges," said Karen Calhoun from University of Georgia. "It is not so much how much they drink total for women that makes them vulnerable; it is how much they drink at a time, the binge drinking, the getting drunk and just not being alert and aware of their surroundings or the risks involved.

 

That really puts women at risk," said Calhoun. "If the end product is perpetration, there is more than one kind of profile that would make you more likely to perpetrate a sexual assault," said Mouilso. "One of those streams is promiscuity - so people who have higher levels of sexual interest and more frequent sexual
partners, they are more OK with impersonal sex. That is one stream of risk factors," she said.

"The second path is the hostile masculinity path. That has more to do with how you look at women, so having a hostile and angry orientation towards women in general and thinking that relationships are adversarial ... it is more about, what
can I get out of this person that I want? I do not really care all that much about what they want," Mouilso said.

 

She said that people can be high or low on factors in both of those tracks, but if a person has both of them together, it makes that person much more likely to perpetrate a sexual assault, according to current theory.

Narcissists feel a sense of entitlement to anything they want, something that makes it easier for them to rationalise their aggressive and sometimes illegal behaviours, researchers said. The findings were published in the journal Violence Against Women.

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