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Further Validation of a Laboratory Analog Sexual Aggression Task: Associations With Novel Risk Factors for Sexual Violence

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Official crime statistics and self-reports of sexual aggression perpetration are limited by various factors (e.g., lack of reporting, social desirability bias), as well as an inability to use these measures in experimental studies of sexual aggression. To address these issues, Nagayama Hall et al. (1994) developed a laboratory analog measure of sexual aggression, which has received empirical support as a valid measure of sexual aggression proclivity. Here, we seek to replicate these findings and further validate the paradigm by examining sexually aggressive responses in relation to a range of recently emerging predictors of sexual aggression (e.g., sexual objectification, sexual narcissism) as well as participants’ perceptions of a female confederate serving as the target of sexual aggression. A sample of 49 undergraduate men completed questionnaires and participated in the sexual aggression analog task. Results of logistic regression analyses supported both criterion and construct validity of the analog task; men who chose the sexually explicit video were more likely to report prior sexual aggression, greater sexual objectification of women, higher sexual narcissism, greater hostile sexism, and higher impersonal dating. These men were also more likely to express dehumanizing beliefs about the female confederate, consider her less intelligent, and believe she was more distressed by the video. These results replicate and extend prior research supporting this paradigm as a valid laboratory-based measure of sexual aggression proclivity that can be used in tandem with validated self-report measures.

Keywords: dehumanization; laboratory analog; sexual aggression; sexual assault; sexual violence; validity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska 2: Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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