Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 283-292

First online:

Variations in College Women's Self-Reported Heterosexual Aggression

  • Peter B. AndersonAffiliated withDepartment of Human Performance and Health Promotion, University of New Orleans

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The purpose of this study was to provide an examination of differences in college women's self-reported heterosexual aggression between two samples. One sample of college women was drawn from three colleges in and around New York city (East; N = 212) and one was drawn from a midsized commuter university in Louisiana (South; N = 249). The respondents were questioned about their lifetime initiation of heterosexual activity. Approximately 28.5% of the women from the East reported engaging in sexually initiatory behaviors traditionally defined as sexual coercion, 21.1% in sexual abuse, and 7.1% in physically forced sex. The women in the sample from the South also reported engaging in sexual coercion (25.7%), sexual abuse (7.3%), and physically forced sex (1.6%), but at lower rates than the other sample. Chi-square tests demonstrated significant group differences for overall sexual aggression (the combination of coercion, abuse, and physical force), sexual abuse, and physically forced sex but not for sexual coercion. Theory building and differences between samples are discussed.

aggressive sexuality gender roles sexual arousal sexual coercion