Chapter 16 – Sexual Coercion.docx

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Family Relations and Human Development
FRHD 2100
Cindy Clarke

Chapter 16 – Sexual Coercion Sexual Assault: non-consenting bodily contact for a sexual purpose 3 Levels of sexual assault: 1. Any non-consensual bodily contact for a sexual purpose including touching, kissing, and oral, vaginal, and anal sex 2. Sexual assault with a weapon, in which the weapon is used to threaten or injure the victim 3. Aggravated sexual assault, in which the victim is maimed or disfigured or has her or his life endangered  Person has to be capable of giving consent; therefore a person who is drunk, under the influence of drugs, unconscious, fearful, or underage is unable to give consent  People who are infected with HIV can be charged with sexual assault if they do not disclose their HIV status to their partners before engaging in sexual behaviour with them  Most sexual assaults go unreported  Belief that the incident is too minor to report  Belief that the police would not be able to do anything , and the desire to protect their privacy  Sexual assaults sometimes involves drugs such as GHB and Rohypnol, which are typically mixed in with drinks served to the victim Types of Sexual Assault  Myth – most sexual assaults are perpetrated by strangers lurking in dark alleyeways or by intruders who climb through open windows in the middle of the night  Most women are assaulted bt men they know and often by men they have come to trust Stranger Sexual Assault: sexual assault that is committed by an assailant previously unknown to the person who is assaulted  Stranger often selects targets who seem vulnerable – women who live alone, who are older or mentally challenged, who are walking down deserted streets Acquaintance Sexual Assault: sexual assault by an acquaintance of the person who is assaulted  51% of victims of sexual offences were sexually assaulted by a friend or acquaintance, while 28% were victimized y a family member  much less likely than assaults by strangers t be reported to the police  victims may not perceive coercion by acquaintances as an assault Date Sexual Assault  date sexual assault is more likely to occur when the couple has too much to drink and then parks in the man’s car or goes back to his residence  Byers and Lewis found that most males accepted a dating partner’s refusal to have sec  Sexual assault occurs within a context in which sexual relations could occur voluntarily Gangs and Sexual Assault  More vicious than individual assaults  Relatively few survivors of gang assaults reported the attack to police or sought support from a crisis centre Sexual Assault Against Males  18% of sexual offence victims are men, however, males comprise of 31% of victims under the age of 12  1/5 of men reported that in the previous year they had been coerced into having sex  85% of women believed that it is easy for women to sexually arouse a man if she wants to, and 68% believed that men enjoy getting sexual advances from women even when they don’t respond positively  Most sexual assaults against men are committed by other men Sexual Assault Against Gay and Bisexual Men  14% reported having been coerced or forced into sex before the age of 14  Half of the reported incidences involved forced receptive anal intercourse  Men who had been sexually coerced has lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression  Abuse alcohol and to have attempted suicide Marital Sexual Assault Bere’s key findings from the literature on sexual consent:  A person who says yes to sexual advances is giving consent even under coercion or force. Others disagree and state that consent can be given only if there is no coercion  Researchers disagree over whether sexual consent must be given verbally  Sexual consent as an agent of moral transformation that turns an illegal and objectionable activity into a potentially pleasurable and morally permissible activity  Sexual consent is usually seen as overly simplistic, involving a yes or no response to a sexual request  Few researchers have studied the ways in which people actually ask for and give consent  Mistakenly assumes that sexual consent from men is not needed because of the stereotype that men are always willing to have sex  Assume that women seldom if ever initiate sexual encounter  Students with strategies for sating no to sex but not for how to say yes  Little research has been done on sexual consent involving gay men and lesbians  Research about the more common consensual sexual interactions is limited  Women and men have nonverbal means of asking for, and giving, sexual consent  People indirectly indicate consent in a number of ways, such as by not pilling away from a partner Social Attitudes and Myths that Encourage Sexual Assault  Male students show greater acceptance of these myths than do female students  Also ethnic differences, with Asian students being more likely to accept these myths  Men who engaged in coercive sex were found to be more likely to hold more traditional views of women’s roles and more likely to hold coericion- supportive beliefs  Likely to ignore a partner’s saying that she does not want to have sex  Greater likelihood of committing sexual assault, are more accepting of violence against women, are more likely to blame sexual assault survivors, and are more aroused by depictions of sexual assault Characteristics of Sexually Coercive Men  Sexually coercive men were found to have high levels of hospitality, poor sexual adjustment, and serious problems with alcohol  Act on their impulses regardless of the cost to the person they attack  Sexually victimized or physically assaulted as cost children  Motives – anger and power are the basic motivations for sexual assault Sexual Assault and Psychological Disorders  Higher-than-average risk of developing anxiety disorders and depression, and of abusing alcohol and other substances  Women who had experienced sexual coercion in their dating relationships were more likely to have lower levels of self esteem and sexual self esteem Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a type of stress reaction brought on by a
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