Academic journal article Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality

The Impact of Ethnicity, and Economic, Social, and Marital Status on Differences in the Frequency of Sexually Aggressive Behaviors among Women Living in Ufa, Russian Federation

Academic journal article Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality

The Impact of Ethnicity, and Economic, Social, and Marital Status on Differences in the Frequency of Sexually Aggressive Behaviors among Women Living in Ufa, Russian Federation

Article excerpt

Introduction

The vast majority of the recent research published on the phenomenon of women's sexual aggression has been conducted with populations of college students from the United States and Canada (Anderson & Struckman-Johnson, 1998; Spitzberg, 1999; Byers & O'Sullivan, 1996). One recent study from Germany, and another from India (Krahe, Scheinberger-Olwig, & Bieneck, 2003; Waldner, Vaden-Goad, & Sikka, 1999) provide accounts of women's sexual aggression outside the U.S.. The present study is the first report of women's sexual aggression gathered from a sample of women in the Russian Federation. Cultural norms and stereotypes have typically cast women as sexually passive (Campbell, 1999; Byers, 1996) and even resistant to sexual behavior and pleasure (Waldner, et al., 1999). The study of women's sexual aggression runs counterintuitive to these cultural norms and expectations and challenges some basic assumptions about the nature of women's sexuality (Denov, 2003; Green, 1999). Despite these cultural expectations, several authors have reported on women's sexually aggressive behaviors (Anderson & Melson, 2002; Spitzberg, 1999). It has been argued that the most commonly studied variables used to explain women's heterosexual aggression (e.g., past sexual abuse, stereotypical beliefs about sexuality) are not sufficient to explain the majority of the variance in this behavior and that other behavioral, cultural, and contextual variables need more scrutiny (Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, & Struckman-Johnson, 2005; Anderson & Savage, 2005)

Women's Sexual Aggression

The very definition of sexual aggression is controversial, even when analyzing men's behavior. The most widely used or adapted survey to assess men's heterosexual aggression was first introduced by Koss and Oros in 1982. The sexual experiences survey (SES) was developed to reveal hidden cases of rape (Koss & Oros, 1982) and as they stated, "the continuum of sexual aggression would range from intercourse achieved through verbal coercion and threatened force to intercourse achieved against consent through use of physical force (rape)" (p. 455). Researchers who use the Sexual Experiences Survey (SES), (Koss & Oros, 1982; Koss & Gidycz, 1985; Koss, Gidycz, &Wisniewski, 1987) assume the intersubjectivity of terms such as sex, sexual behavior and verbal pressure. However, it has been found that the terms used in the SES are interpreted in many different ways by male subjects, which undermines the validity of results gleaned from this survey (O'Sullivan, 2005; Ross & Allgeier, 1996). According to Ross and Allgeier, "the SES may be plagued by inaccurate psychometric citations ... and potentially questionable face validity" (p. 1590). For example, as O'Sullivan explains, the SES item: "Have you ever had intercourse with a woman when she didn't really want to because she felt pressured by your continual arguments?" was interpreted by male respondents on a continuum from verbally persuading a woman, using threats to obtain sex to using physical force to obtain sex from a woman (p. 7).

As Larimer, Lydum, Anderson, and Turner (1999) explain, one of the limitations of her research is that the SES has been criticized for its lack of clarity. Further they state: "insufficient information exists regarding the extent to which men and women mean the same thing when they respond 'yes' or 'no' to these items" (p. 306). The "gender-neutral" version of the SES faces similar issues. One question reads, "In the past year, have you been in a situation where your partner became so sexually aroused that you felt it was useless to stop them even though you DID NOT want to have sexual intercourse?" (p. 304)

Although Larimer's, et al. (1999) questions are theoretically "gender-neutral," the only terms that had been altered are the respondent's or perpetrator's gender. For example, instead of using "he" or "she," Larimer, et al. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.