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By on October 20, 2009

Male Sexual Coercion: A Study from El Salvador

In order to develop programs to prevent men from committing sexual assault, we need to understand what we want change.  If all we so is educate men to know that sexual violence takes place, we cannot succeed.  An article “Male sexual coercion: Analysis of a few associated factors” appearing in October 2009 issue of Psychology Reports looks at some potential risk and protective factors among male college students in El Salvador.

Such research does not necessarily indicate the causes of male sexual violence; instead it demonstrates associations.

The findings are generally not surprising: anger, double standards about gender and favorable attitudes toward the use of violence against women are shown to be risk factors. The authors do suggest that religious involvement may be a protective factor.  I am cautious to draw too much from that observation. I wonder if this is specific to religious life in El Salvador or based on some factor common among men who partcipate n religious practice.

The full citation and abstract from SafetyLit appears after the jump:

male sexual coercion: analysis of a few associated factors.

Sierra JC, Gutiérrez-Quintanilla R, Bermúdez MP, Buela-Casal G. Psychology Reports 2009; 105(1): 69-79.

(Copyright © 2009, Ammons Scientific)

The purpose of this study was to assess, in a sample of 700 university students ages 18 to 40 years in El Salvador, the importance of sociodemographic variables (age, having a partner, and frequency of religious practice), personality traits (anger, hostility, and aggressiveness), sexual attitudes, and male chauvinist attitudes (erotophilia, double standard, and rape supportive attitudes) in explaining male sexual coercion. All these variables were assessed. Once the effect of social desirability had been controlled, the analysis showed the importance of trait anger along with a favorable attitude toward the use of violence against women, double standard, and negative attitudes toward sexuality in explaining male sexual coercion. Religious involvement, however, may act as a protective factor against such violence. Multidimensional models are needed to explain sexual violence against women by men in heterosexual relationships.

For the article, search for “male sexual coercion” here.

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