Predictors of sexual coercion against women and men: A multilevel, multinational study of university students

Several explanations have been forwarded to account for sexual coercion in romantic relationships. Feminist theory states that sexual coercion is the result of male dominance over women and the need to maintain that dominance; however, studies showing that women sexually coerce men point towards weaknesses in that theory. Some researchers have, therefore, suggested that it is the extent to which people view the other gender as hostile that influences these rates. Furthermore, much research suggests that a history of childhood sexual abuse is a strong risk factor for later sexual victimization in relationships. Few researchers have empirically evaluated the first two explanations and little is known about whether sexual revictimization operates for men or across cultures. In this study, hierarchical linear modeling was used to investigate whether the status of women and adversarial sexual beliefs predicted differences in sexual coercion across 38 sites from around the world, and whether sexual revictimization operated across genders and cultures. Participants included 7,667 university students from 38 sites. Results showed that the relative status of women at each site predicted significant differences in levels of sexual victimization for men, in that the greater the status of women, the higher the level of forced sex against men. In addition, differences in adversarial sexual beliefs across sites significantly predicted both forced and verbal sexual coercion for both genders, such that greater levels of hostility towards women at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against women and greater levels of hostility towards men at a site predicted higher levels of forced and verbal coercion against men. Finally, sexual revictimization occurred for both genders and across all sites, suggesting that sexual revictimization is a cross-gender, cross-cultural phenomenon. Results are discussed in terms of their contributions to the literature,... [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Archives of Sexual Behavior is the property of Springer Science Business Media B.V. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts)
Author: 
Hines,Denise A.
Notes: 
IS
Reprint Status: 
NOT IN FILE
Start Page: 
403
End Page: 
422
Journal/Periodical Name: 
Archives of Sexual Behavior
Volume: 
36
Abstract: 
This study had several goals: to investigate rates of forced and verbal sexual coercion and sexual revictimization around the world, association between sexual coercion and adversarial sexual beliefs, and association between childhood sexual abuse and current victimization of sexual aggression in both men and women. Information was gathered from the International Dating Violence Study where questionnaires were completed by students in a classroom setting at various universities around the world. The findings suggest that adversarial beliefs about romantic relationships were associated with sexual coercion for both genders. The sites with high rates of hostile beliefs about the opposite sex observed a higher number of reports of verbal and forced sexual coercion victimization.
Topic Areas: 
male-female relations, prevention, prevalence, racial/ethnic differences
Reference Type: 
JOUR
Reference ID: 
2546
Publication Date: 
2007