An integrative review of three theories that explain why some individuals engage in persistent pursuit—coercive control theory, relational goal pursuit, and attachment theory—is presented. The meta-analytic evidence pointing to persistent pursuit as a gendered behavior is reviewed, and coercive control theory is used to explain gender differences. The strong conceptual and empirical overlap between coercive control as a form of intimate partner violence and persistent pursuit is examined. It is suggested that persistent pursuit measures do not adequately assess behaviors that may be used more commonly by women, such as use of physical attractiveness or gossip to damage one’s reputation. Given the promising empirical support for the theories, longitudinal and comparative evaluations, with new methods are needed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 19, 2010
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