This study was designed to examine the extent to which men have a greater preference for cognitions of sexual dominance than do women, as has often been assumed. We also studied the link between sexual violence and these types of cognitions. Participants were 292 heterosexual undergraduate students who completed a 56-item checklist that assessed positive and negative sexual cognitions along with measures of use of sexual coercion, experiences of child sexual abuse, and experiences of adult sexual victimization. Two 6-item sexual dominance subscales were developed from the checklist to determine how often respondents had experienced the sexual dominance items as positive or as negative. Compared to the women, the men reported a significantly greater frequency of negative cognitions of sexual dominance but a lower frequency of positive cognitions of sexual dominance. Both men and women who had used sexual coercion reported more positive sexual dominance cognitions than did participants who had not used sexual coercion. Sexual violence was not uniquely associated with negative sexual dominance cognitions when the frequency of positive sexual dominance cognitions was controlled. Implications for the link between traditional sexual script and preferences for sexual dominance cognitions are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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