Study Finds Half of Young Women Experience Sexual Coercion

A survey of young women in high school and college conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri and the University of Illinois found that more than half had experienced at least one incident of verbal, physical, or substance-abuse sexual coercion.


Dr. Neville

Some 40 percent of the women surveyed said they had been physically coerced into having sex and 40 percent of the women surveyed stated they had been verbally coerced. Verbal coercion was linked to increased engagement in risky sexual behavior, such as not using condoms.

Dr. French

Dr. French

The data showed with Black women who had been victims of coercion experienced small to moderate effects on their self-esteem and levels of stress. But there was no reduction in self-esteem for White women who were victims of sexual coercion.

The study, which was published in the journal The Counseling Psychologist, may be accessed here. The authors are Helen A. Neville, a professor of African American studies and a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois and Bryana H. French who conducted her doctoral research in educational psychology at the University of Illinois and is now on the faculty at the University of Missouri.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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