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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201267 Find in a Library
Title: Adolescents' Perceptions of the Seriousness of Sexual Aggression: Influence of Gender, Traditional Attitudes, and Self-Reported Experience
Journal: Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment  Volume:15  Issue:3  Dated:July 2003  Pages:201-214
Author(s): N. Zoe Hilton; Grant T. Harris; Marnie E. Rice
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: In this study, 16-year-old students (n=212) of both sexes rated the seriousness of 9 aurally presented scenarios that portrayed either sexual or nonsexual physical aggression.
Abstract: Four acts of aggression were depicted in each scenario to provide a realistic enactment of events. Each scenario was adapted for male-to-female and female-to-male aggression by reversing the perpetrators' and aggressors' names. A sample scenario of male-to-female sexual aggression included getting the person to drink or take drugs, threatening to spread sexual rumors, threatening to end the relationship, and using physical force to try to have sex. After hearing each scenario, participants were asked to judge the seriousness of the aggressor's behavior. Consistent with study hypotheses, girls' ratings of seriousness were higher than boys' ratings for both sexual and physical (nonsexual) aggression. Sexual aggression was rated as more serious by participants than physical aggression, but this was due entirely to girls' ratings. Male-to-female aggression was rated as most serious by all participants. Sexual aggression that involved the use of physical force was rated as significantly more serious than verbal pressure alone when the perpetrator was male. Participants who reported being perpetrators of the kind of aggression portrayed in a scenario rated the aggression as being less serious overall than participants who did not report such aggressive behavior. Traditional sex-role attitudes correlated with lower rated seriousness of the portrayed aggressive behavior, but not with reported perpetration or victimization by participants. The role of attitudes as a direct cause of interpersonal aggression is discussed, as well as implications for intervention. 1 table, 2 figures, and 49 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile offender attitudes
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Aggression; Female sex roles; Gender issues; Sex offense causes; Sex offenses; Sexual behavior; Violence causes; Violent juvenile offenders
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