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A Study of the Prevalence of Sexual Coercion in Adolescent Heterosexual Dating Relationships in a Quebec Sample

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Very few studies which have addressed the issue of sexual violence in dating relationships have provided prevalence rates for coercion that is perpetrated and sustained for both sexes during adolescence, while adequately accounting for the totality of unwanted sexual experiences. The present study addresses these issues by examining the rates of perpetrated and sustained sexual coercion among 644 French-speaking adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age with heterosexual dating experience from Quebec (Canada). Chi-square analyses reveal that girls are more often the victims of coercion, while boys more frequently perpetrate it. However, some boys are victims of sexual coercion. The most frequently occurring unwanted sexual experiences are kissing, and petting or fondling. Verbal coercion, consisting of continual arguments and pressure, is the strategy most often used by those who perpetrate unwanted sexual experiences, and is the strategy most frequently reported by those who suffer it. More extreme forms of sexual violence are also reported, but at a lower rate. Such high rates of sexual coercion during adolescence, as observed in the present study within a culture which is increasingly open to issues regarding sexuality, argue strongly for the implementation of prevention and intervention programs within this age group.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: Groupe de recherche sur l'inadaptation psychosociale (GRIP-Laval), École de Psychologie, Université Laval 2: Groupe de recherche sur l'inadaptation psychosociale (GRIP-Laval) École de Psychologie Université Laval

Publication date: January 1, 1995

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