Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 281–291 | Cite as

Gender and the stolen kiss: The social support of male and female to violate a partner's sexual consent in a noncoercive situation

  • Leslie Margolin


Although the literature on gender and status consistently asserts that men receive greater support for sexual self-determination than women do, this study found the contrary to be true in the case of noncoercive kissing. College students assessed a vignette in which one dating partner says he/she does not want to be kissed, but the other partner does not listen, and kisses him/her anyway. There was significantly more support for the female to violate the male's consent in this situation than vice versa, and there was significantly less support for the male to withhold sexual consent. The paper concluded by suggesting that men received less support to violate a partner's sexual consent than women did because men are seen as more threatening than women. Correspondingly, men received less support to withhold sexual consent because the appearance of diffidence conflicts with the cultural norm of male aggressiveness.

Key words

sexual consent gender kissing dating 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie Margolin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Home EconomicsThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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