Sex Roles

, Volume 29, Issue 5–6, pp 371–385 | Cite as

College men's and women's reactions to hypothetical sexual touch varied by initiator gender and coercion level

  • Cindy Struckman-Johnson
  • David Struckman-Johnson


A sample of 152 men and 152 women (mostly Caucasian) rated their reactions to a vignette in which the subjects were to imagine receiving an uninvited genital touch from a college acquaintance. The vignette was varied so that the acquaintance was of the opposite or the same gender as the subject, and the touch was either gentle or forceful. Results indicated that women anticipated strong negative effects from receiving opposite- or same-gender touch, whether gentle or forceful. Men anticipated almost no negative effects from either a gentle or forceful touch from a female acquaintance, but expected strong negative effects from a gentle or forceful touch from a male acquaintance. Regression analyses revealed that women's reactions to opposite-gender touch were mediated by beliefs in a male norm promoting casual sex, and feelings of violation and fear of harm. Men's reactions to opposite-gender touch were influenced by feelings related to sexual arousal. Men and women's reactions to same-gender touch were related to feelings of violation and harm.


Regression Analysis Social Psychology Sexual Arousal Male Norm Strong Negative Effect 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cindy Struckman-Johnson
    • 1
  • David Struckman-Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South DakotaUSA

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