How Men’s Sexual Assault Victimization Experiences Differ Based on Their Sexual History

Rhiana Wegner, Kelly Cue Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the differences in men’s sexual assault victimization experiences based on their history of only having sex with women (MSW) or having sex with women and men (MSW/M). Based on the previous research, we expected that MSW/M would be more likely to report a sexual assault history, experience a significantly greater number of sexual assault acts, experience more severe levels of unwanted sexual activity and tactics (i.e., physically forced attempted or completed rape), and report both male and female perpetrators, compared with MSW. Community, nonproblem drinking men, ages 21 to 30 (N = 311), reported on their sexual assault victimization experiences since age 14 using a modified version of the Sexual Experiences Survey. Six items were used to assess participants’ number of unwanted sexual experiences (i.e., unwanted sexual contact, attempted and completed rape) that included the use of intoxication, physical force, both, or neither. For each item, participants indicated if the perpetrator(s) was/were male, female, or both male and female. Two fifths of men reported experiencing sexual assault, the majority of which involved attempted or completed rape. Replicating and extending previous research, MSW/M were significantly more likely to be victims (65% vs. 39%), experienced a significantly greater number of sexual assault acts since age 14, were more likely to have experienced attempted or completed rape through the use of physical force, and were more likely to report male only or both male and female perpetrators across their victimization experiences, as compared with MSW. Results indicate a clear need for additional research on the unique victimization experiences of MSW/M. Additionally, sexual assault prevention programming needs to provide men with the skills to identify and negotiate unwanted sexual advances made by men and women and to promote healthy sexual relationship behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2624-2633
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of interpersonal violence
Volume35
Issue number13-14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • GLBT
  • adult victims
  • female offenders
  • male victims
  • sexual assault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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