Sexual Aggression Among White, Black, and Hispanic Couples in the U.S.: Alcohol Use, Physical Assault and Psychological Aggression as Its Correlates
AbstractThis article examines the prevalence of sexual aggression and its association with alcohol and other forms of violence, such as physical abuse and psychological aggression, in a national sample of married and cohabiting couples. These couples were part of a longitudinal study conducted in 1995 and 2000. The analyses include 406 White, 232 Black, and 387 Hispanic couples interviewed in 2000. Male-to-female sexual aggression rates ranged from 11% to 23% and female-to-male aggression rates ranged from 5.5% to 13.5%. Insisting on having sex without use of physical force and having sex without a condom are the two most frequently reported types of sexual aggression across all ethnic groups. Male and female perpetrated sexual aggression rates among Black couples were over 2 times the rate of White couples. Male perpetrated severe psychological aggression is a significant predictor of male sexual aggression. Female perpetrated severe psychological aggression predicted female sexual aggression. The study findings underscore the importance of addressing alcohol use and the presence of psychological abuse in the light of preventing other forms of violence including sexual aggression among couples.