Little is known about how sexual victimization may affect a woman’s self-reported personality ratings. In the present study endorsement ratings of gendered attributes, as measured by the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire, were examined over a 3-year span using multiple group latent growth modeling. Differences in the endorsement of gendered attributes between college female non-victims (N = 158) and victims (N = 158) of sexual aggression were tested. Whereas endorsement of communal and positive agentic attributes were stable across time, victims remained consistently less traditionally feminine (i.e., positively communal and nurturing) than non-victims. Victims also appeared to become relatively more self-focused (i.e., negative masculinity) across time than non-victims. This pattern suggests that sexual victimization may have lasting effects on victims’ ability to focus on the nurturing, trusting aspects of relationships; rather they have a preoccupation with their own needs and goals that appears to strengthen with time. Such a pattern sheds insight into how self-processes may contribute to the relationship difficulties often observed in sexual assault victims. Implications of these results for both personality and sexual aggression researchers are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 28, 2007
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