Published in Evolution and Human Behavior
April 2011, online July 2011
We use data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System to examine the effects of offender and victim age on whether male offenders commit sexual assault while robbing women. Restricting analyses to robberies reveals the offenders' age preferences since it allows one to control for the effects of opportunity. We find that robbers of all ages are most likely to sexually assault women at ages 15–29 years, ages when their reproductive potential is highest. However, in contrast to the idea that rape is a direct adaptation, victims are no more likely to be raped than sexually assaulted at these ages. The age of the offender is also a strong predictor of sexual assault. The likelihood that a robber commits a sexual assault increases from age 12 years until he reaches his early thirties when it begins to decline. This age pattern corresponds, to some extent, to age differences in the male sex drive.
The report from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research looks at whether school characteristics can influence the emotional and cognitive engagement of 15-year-olds with school, and finds that students' engagement with school has been well established and that school characteristics have little impact. Original article
Young Australians are more politically engaged than many older Australians and are just as likely to stand for public office, according to new research done for the Museum of Australian Democracy. Original article
Eight out of 10 British 18-year-olds surveyed by the thinktank IPPR felt it was too easy to accidentally view explicit images while surfing the internet, while 72% said pornography led to unrealistic views about sex. Original article
Since their inception in 1974, Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions have been the major providers of Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Australia. This may not be the case in the future. Original article