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Understanding Predictors of Sexually Coercive Behaviour

Info: 5477 words (22 pages) Dissertation
Published: 6th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Psychology


Purpose: In order to end or at least improve education and reduce sexual coercion, it is crucial to identify the variables that play a part in such behaviour.

Method: One hundred and thirty students (57 female and 73 males) ranging in age from 18 to 26 were randomly approached at one of three university campuses and completed a questionnaire battery.

Results: Overall 91.7% of respondents reported to have never been sexually coercive. Logistic regression analysis, using a dichotomised criterion of coercion, established that frequent pornography and potential sports team membership increased the potential of coercion.



Over the past three decades a plethora of research has concentrated upon the factors involved in and the repercussions of sexual assault, victimisation and perpetration (Abbey, & McAuslan, 2004). Sexual experiences and behaviours are often complex involving; moral and gender stereotyped beliefs, social learning, peer interaction and biological factors. An important part of maturity is developing appropriate sexual beliefs that enable the adolescent to control sexual urges and to manage the consequences when such urges are not controlled. Problems begin to arise when individuals apply pressure or force in a coercive manner in order to obtain sexual intercourse. Sexual coercion is persistent within society and both males and females serve as victims as well as perpetrators (Sigleman, Berry & Wiles, 1984). However, more often than not offenders are young, male and anti-social (Ellis & Walsh, 2000).

A vast spectrum of research (Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987, Forbes & Adams Curtis, 2001, Warkentin & Gidycz, 2007, Martín, Vergeles, Acevedo, Sánchez & Visa, 2005, Lacasse & Mendelson, 2007) also suggests that a large proportion of sexually coercive behaviours occur within university settings. Some suggest that the sexually promiscuous environment promotes sexually coercive behaviours and attitudes resulting in a number of sexual assault and date rape offences (Douglas, Collins & Warren, 1997, Brener, McMahon, Warren, & Douglas, 1999, Koss, Gidycz, & Wisniewski, 1987). Research using student samples also seems to suggest that males who play sports, use pornography, have hyper-masculine sex beliefs and mating strategies will report using and accepting sexually coercive behaviours (Martín, Vergeles, Acevedo, Sánchez & Visa, 2005, Lacasse & Mendelson, 2007).

Further problems arise with what constitutes sexual coercion and when does coercion become attempted rape or rape. Legal definitions are often confusing and broad, the general population usually define rape as vaginal, oral or anal intercourse or attempted intercourse against a person’s will or if the person is unable to give full consent (Humphrey & Kahn, 2000; Abbey, BeShears, Clinton-Sherrod & McAuslan, 2004). Sexual abuse which incorporates sexual coercion is generally defined as behaviour that covers a range of sex acts which includes physically forced sexual contact and verbally coercive intercourse.

Due to the ambiguous definitions police reported prevalence often underestimates the problem (Senn, Desmarais, Verberg, &Wood, 2000). Further to these issues some victims fail to realise that they are in fact themselves victims (Pollard, 1992). If the perpetrator is known to the victim they are often reluctant to label the incident as rape. There are also conflicting views to what constitutes ‘intercourse’. Sonenstein, Ku, Lindberg, Turner, & Pleck, (1998) argued that men attribute vastly different definitions to the word ‘sex’ when compared to women.

Bogart, Cecil, Wagstaff, Pinkerton, & Abramson, (2000) and Sanders, & Reinish (1999) both found that over half of their participants would not define oral sex as sex. Even more participants did not class an act to be ‘sex’ if one or both of those involved did not have an orgasm. As a consequence of these ambiguous definitions some sexual behaviours may not be perceived as sexual acts and both the victim and perpetrator may be under estimating the seriousness of some behaviours.

Research in this subject area has tended to use large representative samples (Abbey et al. 2004). A smaller number of studies have used self reports to estimate the prevalence of sexual coercion. The majority of research has concentrated upon the student population as many studies have shown a generalised problem among university students (Abbey et al. 2004, Martin et al. 2005). Sexual abuse and coercive behaviours will arguably be prevalent in the student population as individuals are still trying to form their identities. Adolescents have powerful motives for sexual intercourse due to pressure from social stereotypes and peers as sex is often viewed as a male conquest. Sexual coercion is said to be a social problem that reflect the stereotypes portrayed by a sexist society (Brownmiller, 1975). Maskay and McCreary-Juhasz (1983) argue that most students will be pressured to engage in sexual activity by either internal or external forces. Arguably males are more likely to hold sexists attitudes and condone sexually coercive behaviours which may be why they are predominantly perpetrators (Monson, Langhinrichsen-Rohling,, & Binderup, 2000).

Female students have continuously been highlighted as being at high risk of coercion in to unwanted sexual behaviour (Mouzon, Battle, Clark, Coleman,& Ogletree, 2005) as females aged 16 to 24 experience rape at a level four times higher than the general female population (Parrot, Cummings, Marchell & Hofher, 1994). In a vast range of research that has been conducted with university students what became apparent is that rape perpetration ranges from 6% to 15%, sexual assault ranges from 22% to 57% and 85% of females reported that their date was a perpetrator of sexual coercion(Abbey et al. 2004).

These varying estimates may be in part due to differing methodologies or the varying definitions of sexual coercion. However what remains clear is that sexual assault and coercion is a serious problem even if we only consider the lower estimates. Coupled with these estimates, 25-60% of male students admitted they would force a female to have sex if they thought they wouldn’t be caught (Russell, 1993, cited in Emmers Sommer, & Allen, 1999).

Despite a wide range of research in this area over the past decade it has become apparent that there are difficulties in eliciting reliable accounts of sexual coercion and therefore intercourse. Some participant may minimise the number of sexual partners where as in many societies young males exaggerate sexual experiences because it as seen as a measure of manhood (Boohene, 1991). As a whole sexual victimisation has been a serious problem on university campuses. Despite efforts from the universities highlighting the risks students put themselves at not much has changed and the prevalence of such behaviours has shown little fluctuation over this time period. It is important to note that sexual aggression varies greatly among different universities (Koss, et al.1987).

It seems viable that in order to attempt to tackle this ongoing problem the factors or social situation that influence or exacerbate such behaviours need to be identified. All men are arguably exposed to similar social experiences, however only a small proportion of these go on to engage in sexually coercive behaviours. The question must be why does this minority conduct these behaviours and accept sexual coercive tactics, what are the mediating factors and how can it be prevented?

The literature examining the use and acceptance of sexual coercion suggests that certain variables remain consistent (Emmers-Sommer, & Allen, 1999). Despite over 47 variables being associated with sexual coercion (Frank, 1989) they generally fall in to one of two categories; psychological and physical pressure (Struckman-Johnson, 1988). Psychological takes the form of verbal pressure, where as physical involves threat of harm to an individual if they refuse to engage in intercourse. Koss (1989) referred to psychological as being implied force and physical as being explicit force. Several studies have concluded that verbal coercion is often the most commonly used coercive tactic (Mouzon et al. 2005). Within a university setting it was apparent in the majority (58.6%) of coercive incidents, the male carried on even though the female had stated ‘No’ (Muehlenhard & Linton, 1986).

Verbal coercion is a negative level of persuasion that can take the form of; blackmail, persuasion, lies, false promises, guilt or threats to end a relationship (Walner-Haugrud, 1995). Many males use verbal coercion as it leaves the victim with a lack of choices to pursue that don’t have severe social or physical consequences (Heise, Moore, & Toubia, 1995). Sexual intercourse may actual seem like the easiest option in order to escape constant pressure or to avoid negative consequences including threats to a relationship (Livingston, Buddie, Testa & VanZile-Tamsen, 2004). The anticipation of a negative reaction from their partner was significantly associated with a woman’s decreased ability to refuse sex and over 40% of females engaged in intercourse due to constant pressure (Koss, 1985) .

However when females are seen to ‘give in’ to intercourse due to the social and emotional pressures it is debated whether this is true victimization (Muehlehard & Peterson, 2004). Regardless of this viewpoint the presence of verbal coercion is consistent in dating relationships, 93% of coercive acts reported by females involved a male that was known to them (Testa & Livingston,1999). With regard to university campuses, social circles constantly overlap thus increasing the likelihood the victim, her friends or acquaintances will now the perpetrator.

Dating situation can often be ambiguous with pressure from societies expectation of gender stereotyped roles and traditional dating scripts. These expectations and pressures can often lead to attitudes of rape justifiability and victim willingness. Males are often viewed by a western society as being dominant and aggressive. Therefore some males want to uphold this view often resulting in hyper-masculinity. Malamuth, Linz, Heavey, Barnes, &Aker (1995) argue the views of these males will be strengthened especially in a university setting.

Their ‘Confluence model’ states that variables such as sexual promiscuity or hyper-masculinity will influence sexually coercive behaviour and attitudes. Some male’s think they are justified in being coercive towards their date especially if they the female accepted the date, they have paid for the date or the female invited him back to her residence (Feltey, Ainslie & Geib, 1991). Such behaviours are justified as being acceptable as certain males believe because the female has ‘allowed’ him to take the ‘lead’ role then she must be willing to engage in intercourse or he is justified in pursuing intercourse without consent as she ‘owes’ him (Parrot, 1990). Surprisingly some females agree that a man is justified in having sex with a female against her will if she willingly goes back to his house (Muehlenhard, 1988).

Even when dating scripts are reversed and the female initiates or pays for the date some males still perceive this as the female’s willingness to engage in intercourse. These males are likely to assume that females who initiate or take control are experienced or ‘easy’. The males described in these situations are more likely to blame the female if sex occurs, are more likely to endorse rape justifiable attitudes and are less likely to perceive that coercion took place (Parrot, 1990). Reassuringly, 98% of university students agreed that using coercion to obtain sex is not acceptable regardless of other dating factors (Cook, 1995).

Some behaviours do not have the ambiguity of whether they are coercive or not for example the use of force, threat or weapons are unequivocal examples of sexual coercion. Koss et al. (1987) argued that over half of their student sample were sexual victimized and 6% stated they had been raped in the past year whilst at university. Fisher, Cullen,& Turner (2000) reported much lower figures of around 11% for sexual victimization and 2% raped in the past 7 months. These differences could indicate a decline in sexually coercive behaviour however it may be more likely due to differing definitions of sexually coercive behaviours and the different time frames used.

Taking even the lower estimates it appears that a significant proportion of students have endured some form of sexual coercion during a relatively small time frame. However research has continually highlighted that the number of reported incidents of sexual coercion by females will always out weight the number of self reports by males (Koss et al.1987). Therefore it appears that there are marked gendered differences in the way both sexes perceive and report sexually coercive behaviours.

The gendered differences in attitudes towards sexual behaviour general highlight that males are more sexually permissive and more interested in casual sex and women tend to have an emotional tie (Forbes, & Adam-Curtis, 2004). Despite some decline in these gender differences, the issue of casual sex remains the same. Males are twice as likely as females to approve of casual sex and four times as likely to think attractiveness is a sufficient enough reason to have sex (Feignbaum & Weinstein, 1995). Males also believed it is ‘normal’ for intercourse to occur after eight dates whereas females argued it would be nearer to 12 (Cohen & Shortland, 1996).

This sample of male students may therefore have unrealistic dating scripts. Expecting intercourse to occur four dates sooner than females may result in the female perceiving the males advances as being sexually coercive whereas the male believe his behaviours are the next ‘logical’ step. Such differences in sexual expectations may be a major contributing factor to the discrepancies between recorded and self reported behaviours. Discrepancies may also be attributed to some men perpetrating multiple acts as recidivism rates are often low. Rubenzahl (1998) reported that within his student sample 29% reported being sexually coercive on more than five occasions.

The underlying differences in attitudes towards sexual coercion may lie with the conditioning of males and females, and their assumed gender identity. Embracing the identity of being masculine or feminine will have an effect upon perceptions of appropriate or inappropriate behaviour, and the decisions regarding engaging in intercourse. As gender identities are diametrically opposed, society views real mean as those who have sex and women, who are ladies, do not (Muehlenhard, & McCoy, 1991).

Males who adopt this gender identity have more traditional values and expectation. As discussed previously, these males will ask for the date, pay for the date, initiate sex and ultimately endorse sexually coercive strategies. Such males are also more likely to believe that females engage in ‘Token Resistance’, in that they say no in order to preserve their feminine identity, even though they are willing to engage in sexual intercourse. Others believe that token resistance may actually be a change of intention rather than a self protective factor (Shortland, & Hunter, 1995). Around 40% of college women admitted they had engaged in token resistance, even though they planned to have sexual intercourse (Shortland, & Hunter, 1995) and 17% make regular practice of it (Muehlenhard & Hollabaugh, 1988).Therefore, even if the female truly means ‘No’, a minority of males will still pursue intercourse as they perceive it to be the female being coy or bluffing to protect her reputation.

Given that males and females are expected, by the rules that govern society, to act in opposing ways and that some males believe because of these expectations, females say ‘no’ when they in fact mean ‘yes’, it is hardly surprising that coercive behaviours become problematic. Confusion for males will obviously arise when females they have previously engaged in sexual intercourse with have used token resistance. Problems will arise when the same male engages with other females, yet uses his previous experience as a rule of thumb. Some women use verbal and non verbal cues, along with the physical resistance to refuse sexual advances from a male. As discussed verbal cues are often confusing especially as ‘no’ can often mean ‘yes’. Consent is also usually signalled by doing nothing during sexual advances, therefore further issues may arise for the male in that lack of consent is not necessarily a spoken ‘no’. Men are also more likely to perceive a wide variety of non verbal, verbal and situational variables as cues for a female’s sexual interest (Koukounds, & Letch, 2001). Non verbal cues are said to be the least direct and effective methods of resistance (VanWie, & Gross, 2001).

Environmental factors such as a college setting and, “perpetrator characteristics, personality and previous sexual experience enhance a man’s willingness to act upon his coercive beliefs and attitudes” (Berkowitz, Burkhart, & Bourg, 1994 p.6). White, Donat, & Humphrey’s (1995) suggest that it is not specific cognitive beliefs but negativity towards women that is associated with sexual coercion. Therefore holding supportive attitudes in the absence of other variables such as hostility may not contribute to sexual coercion. Attitudes of a coercive nature however do not just appear but they are in part due to socialisation. Attitudes are modelled and developed at home, school, by the media and our peers; they are also in part influenced by our own personality. Hostility towards females and sensation seeking is such aspects of personality that is linked towards sexual coercive behaviours (Berkowitz, 1992).

Much of the sexual coercion literature has focused upon fraternity and sports team members with the majority suggesting that those who individuals who are associated with either group are more likely to commit sexual assault. This viewpoint has gained momentum within the popular media (Martin, & Hummer, 1989) however from an academic perspective the results are mixed. Koss and Gains (1993) argue that both athletic membership and living in a fraternity were significantly related to the severity of the incident but only athletic membership was a significant predictor. However, Lackie and DeMan (1997) argues the opposite in that fraternity membership not athletic membership predicted sexual assault. One of the many reasons for this is that, some sports teams especially on modern university campuses are mixed sex or if they are single sex affiliated teams share transport and training resources.

Also many fraternities do not represent the stereotypical view of hyper-masculine, alcohol fuelled environments and they actually promote equal rights and community service. However a number studies, (Boeringer,1999, Sawyer, Thompson, & Chicorelli, 2002, Forbes, Adams-Curtis, Pakalka, & White, 2006) have highlighted relationships between group memberships, acceptance of rape myths, objectification of women and admiration of violence. Each of these variables has been constantly related to sexual aggression and coercion. It is important however to understand that such attitudes are developmental and aggression towards females does not just manifest during college. Such attitudes develop throughout the life course and participation is sports, college experiences, the pressure from peers or male gender roles may reinforce these existing attitudes (Forbes, & Adam-Curtis, 2001).

Peers will provide justification and support for each other’s sexually aggressive tactics. Athletes were over responsible for 19% of sexual assaults despite only accounting for 3% of the overall university population (Crosset, & Benedict, 1995). On the other hand self report questionnaires highlighted that sexual assault by members of athletic teams or fraternity memberships were no different than non members (Jackson, 1991). Closely tied in with the theory of masculinity is the role of males peers in socialisation and initiation of sexual beliefs (Brooks-Gunn, & Furstenberd, 1989). ‘Frat’ membership is good reflection of the pressure applied to peers to hold narrow masculine views (Senn, Desmarais, Verberg, &Wood, 2000). The link between ‘frat’ houses, sports team and sexual coercion may be a reflection of the psychological characteristics of the group such as hostility and dominance over women not the purpose of the group itself that is associated with sexual coercion.

Further variables such as pornography usage have been linked to sexual assault and sexual coercion. Within some student populations and arguably some ‘frat’ houses or university halls of residence social affairs involve pornographic entertainment which may further reinforce sexually aggressive behaviour. The concern surrounding pornography usage is that substantial research (Williams, Cooper, Howell, Yuille, & Paulhus, 2009) argues it promotes sexual misbehaviour. Such effects are arguably stronger when the exposure is self induced (e.g. DVD’s and internet based searches) rather than involuntary (e.g. pop ups and spam emails).

Experimental studies (Williams et al. 2009) seem to suggest that exposing males to pornography increases fantasies, willingness to rape and acceptance of rape myths. Malamuth, Neil, & Koss, (2000) argue that there is an association between pornography usage and sexually aggressive behaviours in that those who had higher levels of viewing were at a greater risk for being sexually aggressive. However they also suggest that those males who are already aggressive in nature are at a far greater risk than those who are not aggressive. Boeringer (1994) had previously concluded that males exposed frequently to violent pornography were six times more likely to report rape supporting attitudes and behaviours compared to a sample with low exposure.

Exposure to pornography may reinforce the notion that having multiple partners is normal and having a steady relationship in undesirable. Pornography also fails to deal with real life relationship problems. Some issues such as affection, communication, dating scripts or the consequences of promiscuous sexual behaviour are avoided. Viewing material of this nature especially on a frequent basis exposes the individual to perverted sex acts that are otherwise unimaginable and instead are regarded as exciting thus desensitising the individual to the content. Some 12% of males imitated pornography during a sexually abusive incident (Bergen, Raquel Kennedy, 2000).

It is important however to remember that a number of individuals watch pornography on a regular basis and no not engage in sex crimes. It is important however to argue that the relationship between pornography and sexual coercion is not simply due to levels of exposure and moderating factors must be considered. The combination of peers with attitudes that justify coercion, pornography usage and hyper-masculinity and an appreciation of violence often found in some sports teams may all interact and contribute to sexual coercion.

The age at which individuals have their first sexual experience and the number of partners they have had may lead to more coercive attitudes and behaviours. Factors such as impersonal sex and lack of intimacy are associated with both promiscuity and sexual coercion. A number of studies (Forbes et al. 2001, Senn at al. 2000, Martin et al. 2005) have found those that had admitted to endorsing or perpetrating sexual coercion had more sexual partners and early age of first intercourse than a non coercive sample. Those males that are sexually coercive and have had a high number of partners will be active daters and the frequency of their sexual contact can increases their likelihood to commit sexually coercive acts (Byers & Eno, 1991). In summary, “the more sexually the young man, the longer he is active and the greater number of sexual partners the more likely some assaultive behaviour will occur at least once” (White & Koss, 1993 p.144 ).

It is apparent that a number of different variables can contribute to the acceptance and reinforcement of sexually coercive behaviours. The complexity of this relationship can arguably only be understood by taking human evolution and natural selection into account. In line with previous research evolutionary theory argues sexual coercion occurs in aggressive males who are more eager to mate, are sexually assertive and are less discriminative when choosing a mate (Thornhill & Palmer, 2000). Those male with a high sex drive that are thwarted by a female when they are sexually aroused may respond in a sexually coercive manner (Kanin, 1969).

Females on the other hand have different reproductive strategies as they are more selective because they contribute more long term effort to the reproduction of the offspring (McKibbin, Shackelford, Goetz, & Starratt, 2008). Such difference may be attributed to the gender differences in attitudes towards casual sex and some males desire to have multiple partners. Evolutionary psychologists propose a number of different explanations of individual difference in sexual coercion. Those males that have low parental investment due to the nature of their unstable environment such as university may trigger development patterns leading to a high mating effort.

These individuals may have multiple partners due to their desire for greater investment in reproduction. This potential for reproduction ‘pays off’ as a greater number of partners may result in a greater number of offspring. Such behaviour patterns are supported by risk taking strategies that are apparent in sexually coercive behaviour. Adaption theory suggests that sexual coercion is a conditional strategy. Its main argument is that those males who have low mating value and have failed with non sexually coercive tactics use conditional mating strategies such as sexual coercion in order to improve their number of sexual partners because these behaviours are now adaptive (Gladden, Sisco, & Figueredo, 2008).

Further arguments surround the notion that sexual coercion is a by-product of trait differences between genders to ensure that males do not miss sexual opportunities. Selection for a greater variety in sexual encounters (casual sex) by males and for some to act aggressively could result in sexual coercion as a side effect of these traits. From an evolutionary perspective those individuals that adapt behaviour to context adaptive problems (domain specific adaptive mechanisms) tend to out compete rivals that pursue invariant behaviour tactics. It may be in these specific context cues trigger coercive behaviours such that a male who was coercive as a by product of an interest in casual sex maybe also be high in aggression and be willing to use force as they lack normal inhibitions.

On the contrary those males that use coercion because they have low status may have normal inhibitions against forcing women however may alter these inhibitions when the female acts inappropriately according to gender stereotypes i.e. initiates the date or invites him back to her home. Based on this argument it appears that different predictors of sexual coercion will correlate preferentially with different types of offences. By expanding this research to consider more fundamental evolutionary constructs such as mating effort and sex strategies, it may be possible to think about sexual coerciveness theoretically.


It is predicted that a higher score on a measure of self-reported sexually aggressive tactics will be positively correlated with greater impulsivity, more stereotyped sexual attitudes, active sports team participation, greater pornography use, higher levels of mating effort and residing within university halls of residence. It is further predicted that males will believe using sexual coercive behaviours is more acceptable than females and they will admit to higher levels or perpetration than females.



The study will be a within-subjects correlational study, and examines the use and acceptance of sexually coercive tactics among university students. The study will use higher self-rated scores on measures of sexual coercion as the criterion variable and sexual experience, impulsivity-sensation seeking, sexual beliefs and whether the participant lives in halls, is a member of a sports team, if they use pornography and mating effort as the predictor variables.


Participants were recruited via opportunistic sampling around various public areas of a University campus and online via a social networking website. Participants in this study composed of University students ranging from first years to postgraduate level. A total of 130 students participated in the study 73 male and 57 female. The participants included in the analyses were aged between 18 and 26 the overall mean age was 22.2 years (SD= 1.58).

Furthermore about 43 % were said to be in a long term relationship, 43 % dated casually, 15 % didn’t date and only2 % were married or engaged. The vast majority of participants (96 %) indicated they were heterosexual, with 2 % being homosexual and 1 % being bi sexual.


Within the questionnaire battery participants were asked to provide demographic information which included; gender, age, the age at which participants willingly has sexual intercourse, the number of sexual partners they have had, whether they lived in halls of residence, whether they were part of a single or mixed sex sports team, and whether they used pornography.

Further measures include:

The SES Scale (sexual experiences scale, Koss & Oros, 1982).

A 10 item scale was used to measure the participant’s involvement in acts of sexual coercion. From this measure it is possible to collect data regarding four different types of sexual aggression (sexual contact, sexual coercion, attempted rape and rape). As this scale is currently devised for male participants a revised version for females will created simply by changing the use of male to female. This will be altered as it may be possible for some females to use sexually coercive behaviours.

The respondents answer ‘yes’ of ‘no’ to a series of items in a self report format. With regard to rape it will not be possible for women participants to respond ‘yes’ however the scale will be able to identify other sexually coercive behaviours The measure is used to detect sexual assault even when the perpetrator is unaware that his behaviour constitutes a crime. The SES is one of the most frequently used measures of assessing sexually aggressive behaviours and reliability and validity are very good. The SES was found to be of good internal consistency reliability with a Cronbach alpha =.89, and has re-test reliability of .93 (Koss & Gidycz, 1985) and validity of .61(Koss & Gidycz, 1985). The scale has been used with women were the internal consistency was found to be .74(Koss & Gidycz, 1985).

The Impulsive Sensation Seeking subscale of the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (ZKPQ-ImpSS; Zuckerman, Kuhlman, Joirement, Teta, & Kraft, 1993).

A 19 item impulsivity sensation seeking subscale requires participants to answer true or false to whether they felt the statements were descriptive of themselves. Higher scores indicate participants who have higher levels of sensation seeking. Research has found the scale has a Cronbach alpha of .77 and a test retest reliability of .80 (Zuckerman, 2002).

The Sexual Strategies Questionnaire (SSQ Struckman- Johnson and Struckman-Johnson, 1991).

Participants are asked to consider 10 different items in relation to a date scenario vignette. Item are devised to measure acceptability of different sexually coercive tactics. Within the scale there are 10 levels of sexual coercion, the least severe being use of isolation (item 1) ranging to moderately severe, alcohol used as a specific tactic (item 6) and most severely the use of

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