An Examination of Pornography Use as a Predictor of Female Sexual Coercion



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Approximately 20% of women and 1.5% of men report experiencing rape during their lifetime and 19% of undergraduate women report they experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since starting college (Center for Disease Control, 2012). These are only a few numbers that indicate the prevalence of sexually aggressive behaviors and highlight the importance of understanding predictors of related constructs like sexual coercion. Definitions of sexual coercion range across studies, but most notably involve verbal or physical means to force someone into unwanted sexual acts. Prior research explored a multitude of predictors for males who engage in sexual coercion; however, little is known regarding female sexual coercion. Previous studies examined marital status, rape myth acceptance, age of first sexual intercourse, psychopathy, and history of sexual victimization experiences. There is no research to date that examines pornography use and pornography modality as predictors of sexual coercion for females. The current study incorporates both the previously indicated empirical predictors in addition to the novel variables of pornography use and modality. The current sample included 744 undergraduate females. Results indicated pornography use and modality were significant predictors of both verbal sexual coercion and an average of verbal and illegal sexual coercion. However, logistic regression results indicate pornography use was no longer a significant predictor after controlling for other variables while pornography modality remained a significant predictor. These results suggest pornography use may not be related to sexual coercion in the same way it is for males after controlling for specific variables. Additionally, psychopathy was associated with higher likelihood of engaging in verbal, illegal, and the average of verbal and illegal sexual coercion and was the strongest predictor of engaging in verbal and average sexual coercion across the regression models. These results add to the limited literature on females who engage in sexual coercion and offer insight into pornography use’s association with these behaviors.



Female, Pornography use, Sexual coercion