Conflict tactics within relationships and coercive sexual behavior are separate phenomena that are empirically related. To answer why they should be related, we drew upon two theoretical frameworks: an individualized form of cultural spillover and feminist control theory. Using an ANOVA framework, we constructed hypotheses through which we could (1) test for relations among constructs and (2) discriminate between the predictions of cultural spillover and feminist theory. We hypothesized that the severity of individuals' coercive sexual behavior would be related to the violence level of conflict tactics in relationships and also to a pattern of generalized psychological abuse within relationships. We also hypothesized that men, compared to women, would engage in more physically coercive sexual behavior and use more violence in conflict tactics. University students (50% women, 93% <23 years old, from a school with 73% White students) responded to the measures. With the exception of the last hypothesis, these predictions were supported by the overall data, although not universally within levels of gender. Based on the pattern of hypothesis confirmation and inconsistencies, we discuss the mix of support and potential moderators that would resolve inconsistencies for each theory.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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