Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 24, Issue 5, pp 489–502 | Cite as

Heterosexual and homosexual coercion, sexual orientation and sexual roles in medical students

  • Nathaniel McConaghy
  • Ruth Zamir


Rape has been conceptualized on a dimension of normal male behavior. The Koss and Oros (1982) study used a questionnaire that allowed men to respond only as sexual aggressors of women, and women only as victims of men. Medical students' responses to a modified questionnaire, in which both sexes reported being aggressors and/or victims, revealed that relatively comparable proportions of men and women were victims of coercive experiences: 35% of women and 30% of men experiencing constant physical attempts to have sexual activity. Forms of coercion not involving threat or use of force were more common, more exclusively heterosexual, and carried out by more equivalent percentages of men and women. 15% of women and 12% of men felt initially coerced into sexual activity but then enjoyed it. Threat or use of force to attempt to or to obtain intercourse were employed by 4% of men and 2% of women and experienced by 5% of both sexes. Half the male victims and female aggressors and a quarter of the male aggressors and female victims who reported such coercion stated it was homosexual. The ratio of homosexual/heterosexual feelings reported by male, but not female, students correlated with the degree of the homosexual coercion they both carried out and experienced. The degree of sexual coercion carried out by men and women correlated with their masculine sex role scores, suggesting, if the dimensional concept of rape is valid, that rape is on a continuum with masculine rather than male behaviors.

Key words

heterosexual coercion homosexual coercion male coercion female coercion sexual roles 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathaniel McConaghy
    • 1
  • Ruth Zamir
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryPrince of Wales HospitalHigh St. RandwickAustralia

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