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Male and Female Sexual Victimization in Dating Relationships: Gender Differences in Coercion Techniques and Outcomes

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Previous research on dating sexual coercion defines females as victims and males as perpetrators. This study expands on a trend to include male victims of sexual coercion in order to contrast their experiences with female victims. Results from 422 Midwestern, college students reveal a phenomenal amount of sexual coercion is occurring. Although women report more victimization, both males and females in the study reported coercion resulting in sexual behaviors ranging from kissing to intercourse. Coercive tactics targeted in this study included: intoxication, blackmail, lies, false promises, guilt, threats to end the relationship, persistent touching, being held down, detainment, threat of physical force, use of force, and use of a weapon. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed that women were more likely to experience unwanted sexual behavior when the following coercive tactics were used: detainment, persistent touching, lies, and being held down. Men were more likely to report unwanted sexual behavior ranging from kissing to intercourse when female dates used blackmail or a weapon. Low frequency of the weapon item renders this finding less significant. Chi-square results reveal a pattern of coercing women into more extreme behaviors, such as intercourse, while men report coercion ending in milder sexual behaviors, such as unwanted kissing or touching.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Social Sciences, University of Houston-Downtown 2: Department of Sociology, Iowa State University

Publication date: 01 January 1995

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  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2016 Impact Factor is 0.750.
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