, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 93-114

Men pressured and forced into sexual experience

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Abstract

A predominantly heterosexual sample of 204 college men were asked to report incidents of pressured or forced sexual touch or intercourse since age 16. About 34% indicated they had received coercive sexual contact: 24% from women, 4% from men, and 6% from both sexes. Contact involved only sexual touching for 12% and intercourse for 22%. Sexual contact was pressured in 88% of the 81 reported incidents by tactics of persuasion, intoxication, threat of love withdrawal, and bribery. In 12% of the incidents, sexual contact was forced through physical restraint, physical intimidation, threat of harm, or harm. Contact was initiated by an acquaintance or intimate in 77% of incidents. The negative emotional impact of male contact was rated significantly higher than the impact of female contact. Men with and without coercion experience did not differ, however, for scale scores on sexual esteem, depression, and preoccupation. Interviews with 10 subjects revealed complex reactions to coercive male and female contact, including doubts about one's sexuality, resentment of unexpected or forceful contact, and fear of telling others about the event.