Reexamining Issues of Conceptualization and Willing Consent: The Hidden Role of Coercion in Experiences of Sexual Acquiescence

Nicole E. Conroy, Ambika Krishnakumar, Janel M. Leone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study problematizes the literature’s conceptualization of sexual compliance, predominantly defined as willing participation in, and consent to, unwanted sexual activity in the absence of immediate partner pressure. Using a feminist theoretical framework, we argue that covert forms of social coercion, including normalized expectations for heterosexual women to participate in sexual activity and maintain relationship satisfaction, ultimately pressure women into participating in unwanted sexual activity. In other words, immediate partner pressure is not necessary for a sexually coercive experience to occur. Results of the current study indicate that relationship control and media influence significantly predict sexual acquiescence, and women acquiesce to unwanted sexual activity in an effort to maintain relationships and partner satisfaction as well as to avoid negative outcomes. Women cite various forms of social coercion, such as fulfilling sexual scripts and relationship obligations, as primary reasons for participating in unwanted sexual activity without resisting their partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1828-1846
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Volume30
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 6 2015

Keywords

  • sexual acquiescence
  • sexual coercion
  • sexual violence
  • social coercion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Reexamining Issues of Conceptualization and Willing Consent: The Hidden Role of Coercion in Experiences of Sexual Acquiescence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this