Date and Acquaintance Sexual Assault: 'Nice Guys' Do Rape -Part 1

Updated: Sep 28, 2018

In 1983, I began the serious study of date and acquaintance sexual assault. My focus was to determine if a pattern existed for familiar predators. I also wanted to determine if sexual assault by familiars was/is a planned act of conquest, or is it an impulse driven by alcohol and communications breakdowns.

A Behavioral Analysis of Date and Acquaintance Sexual Assault A Behavioral Analysis of Date and Acquaintance Sexual Assault is a description of the basic profile and behavior of the familiar assailant. The statements made about him are from the examination of over 800 assaults involving predators from all across the United States ranging in age from sixteen to forty-three. The assailant profile and behavior pattern described here are restricted to one-to-one familiar assaults, i.e., one victim who is targeted by one assailant known to her, but not involved in a long-term relationship involving consensual sex.

Date and Acquaintance Assailant Profile The initial description and perception by the survivor of date rape is their assailant was a very nice guy. He was attractive, very personable, attentive, and outgoing. This is an often-repeated statement. Because of this, the “Nice Guy" term will be used to describe him. His basic profile commonly embodies several of the following characteristics: "Is it any wonder that only about one percent of women sexually assaulted by the "nice guy" report it?"

  • Athletic, and outwardly confidant: In high school, he was/is probably an athlete involved in a team sport.

  • Attractive and well-liked by people of both genders: He generally has little trouble attracting women.

  • Tends to need to be around men in groups: For example: fraternities, sport clubs or teams, civic groups, male roommates, frequent visits to bars with his friends.

  • Does not generally engage in long-term relationships: Sees many women but does not commit to one.

  • Egocentric and self-serving: He typically uses the “I” word frequently. He guides conversations and situations so that he is generally the center of attention.

  • Tends to brag to his friends about his sexual conquests.

  • Does not handle rejection or criticism well: This is evidenced by his need to be liked by those around him.

  • Believes that women are sexual objects: Thinks that he has the right to aggressively take from them, even if they do not willingly want to give.

  • He will usually "score" (with consent), or assault (non-consent): Or terminate the relationship by the third time he is in a situation where he is alone with the woman

  • May admit to forcing someone to have sex with him: He does not actually see it as rape. His goal is the sexual conquest, even if he needs to use force to get it.

Sexually Assaulted by the 'Nice Guy' Due to the nature of his personality, this man is rarely seen as a predator. People who know him would think him incapable of assault, and wonder what is wrong with the woman. People who do not know him would see a nice guy wrongly accused. Generally speaking, society sides with him and holds the woman responsible for either falsely accusing him, or implying consent by her behavior. A popular attitude is there was some kind of problem with communication. This implies the woman was either partially or wholly responsible. I have not found this to be the case. Is it any wonder that only about one percent of women sexually assaulted by the "nice guy" report it (Burkhart, 1983)!


Because we believe that this subject is so extremely important, this blog is Part 1 of 3 in our "Nice Guys" Rape series. Stay tuned for Part 2: "Sexual Assault Sequence".



If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual assault, speak out. There is a good amount of support these days. You are not alone. Don't let the perpetrator be allowed to move on to his next victim.

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