Gender Differences in Patterns of Experienced Sexual Coercion and Associated Vulnerability Factors Among Young People in The Netherlands

  • Kuyper L
  • de Wit J
  • Smolenski D
 et al. 
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The development of effective policies and programs to prevent sexual coercion among young people requires thorough understanding of the diversity of coercive sexual experiences, patterns in such types of experiences, and similarities and differences between subgroups, especially by gender, in patterns of coercive sexual experiences and associations with potential vulnerability factors. The present online self-report study assessed a wide range of coercive sexual experiences and potential vulnerability factors among a sociodemographically diverse sample of 1,319 young people (16-25 years old) in The Netherlands. Findings confirm that sexual coercion comprises a diversity of experiences, with rates differing substantially across types of coercion. Latent class analysis revealed distinct patterns of coercive sexual experiences for young women and young men. Among young men, three patterns of experiences were found: no coercive sexual experiences, experience with verbal pressure, and experience with verbal pressure as well as coercion related to alcohol intoxication. Among young women, four patterns of coercive experiences were identified. In addition to the three patterns observed among young men, a fourth pattern encompassed experiences with verbal pressure as well as the use of force or violence. Higher numbers of sexual partners, lower levels of sexual refusal skills, and higher levels of token resistance were consistently associated with increased vulnerability. Findings illustrate the importance of communication skills and suggest that sexual communication training should be an integral part of sexuality education.

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  • L Kuyper

  • J de Wit

  • D Smolenski

  • P Adam

  • L Woertman

  • W van Berlo

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