Social rules regarding sexual behavior indicate when sex may be desired, expected, or obligatory. Some of these rules legitimize a man's initiation of sex with a woman regardless of the woman's desires or intentions; such situations could potentially lead to rape. Middle school, high school, and university students completed a Rules About Sex Questionnaire on which they indicated the situations in which a man could assume a woman wants to have sex. The results indicated that girls and women endorsed fewer rules than did boys and men. University students endorsed the fewest rules, and middle school students endorsed the most rules. Endorsement of rules was associated with boys' and men's self-reported sexually coercive behavior and with beliefs about who should initiate sex. The findings may be useful in the design of sexual assault prevention programs for adolescents.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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