The Relationship Between History of Sexual Compulsion and Perceived Interpersonal Communication Skills

A result of many years of research, data collection, crime statistics, and interviews has been that sexual coercion ( the act of forcing, pressuring or tricking persons into a sexual act) is now known to be relatively prevalent. Half of all women in college and in the workplace report experiencing sexual harassment. Approximately 25 % of women are rape victims, and 70% of girls are sexually coerced during childhood.1,2,3 Although somewhat occurring more often with women, men also experience degrees of sexual coercion. Men, however, are in general less apt to discuss the subject.

For instance, among adolescent boys, to 15% 4,5 report unwanted sexual activity. On the other hand, over a third of college age men acknowledge having experience with sexual coercion. This may be due to the fact that this group is generally subjected to a great deal more unwanted sexual activity.6 Whether male or female, the prevailing indication is that sexual coercion leads to problems of various sorts. Consequences range from high risk behaviors and problems in school to an individuals sense of self and uncertainty about interpersonal relationships.

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A long term result of such subjection may be evidenced in serious problems concerning the conjunction of child abuse and the subsequent risk for HIV/AIDS8. A national survey recently confirmed this phenomenon.11 A more recent study, conducted by a private family planning clinic, explores the relationship between interpersonal communication, psychological status and sexual coercion. Researchers surveyed two sample groups of adolescents: one from the family planning clinic and the other from a local private high school.

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Characteristics, such as race, income level, and age, were matched. Questions asking about sexual communication were calibrated by scales used with other adolescent samples for measurement of interpersonal communication skills on the topic of condom use and safer sex.

After analyzing the results based on gender and the Chi-Square Tests of Association (a system for analyzing differences among more than two nonparametric groups, utilizes sets of cells.), researchers found the following: Although 24% of both boys and girls were forced in some way to do something sexually, two thirds of the boys versus only half the girls continued seeing the individual. Also, 64% of boys had repeat occurrences while 25% of the girls experienced recurring coercion. In addition, more girls stated that they had talked to someone about the happenstance than did boys. Perhaps as a result, more boys had the desire to speak further on the issue.14 Further implications of the study are amplified by the fact that although adolescents were generally confident that they could communicate their preferences, females were in practice, more disposed to asserting themselves with their partners than were males. Females were, without exception, a great deal more liable to insist on their own predilections.

Males, in general, had significantly greater difficulty in talking to partners, getting a partner to listen to them, or turning down alcohol or drugs prior to having sex. Upon finer study, it was discovered that being hurt physically and being able to communicate fully had a definite connection. The research accents those boys that had a sexual history of having been coerced. This group was a great deal more likely to miss classes or have other problems in school. Also, boys in this category showed a greater likelihood of experiencing other problems including use of alcohol and drugs, feeling unpopular, crying for no apparent reason, substance abuse, and feeling unattractive. It was also concluded that boys who indicated that theyid been sexually coerced were more apt to also have difficulty communicating in terms of sexual issues, and more likely to show such difficulties in behavior problems affecting school and their social lives.

They are, for the most part reluctant to speak out on the victimization that society has tried to hide.16 However, in reckoning the research concerning females, we find a paradox. Despite having histories of being forced to do something they did not want to do, girls assert that they successfully communicate with their partners about sexual issues. This might be due, by virtue, to the fact that relatively few females reported that being forced meant that they did not want to do so. The ramifications of non-communication can lead to increasingly dire circumstances.

In fact, teenagers with histories of sexual abuse (in this case coercion) report 4 times more suicidal thoughts and 10-20 times more attempted suicides than those not abused.17,18 It may be noted that while boys report many more instances of [coercion] than girls, girls experience the majority of emotional problems such as anxiety or loneliness resulting from such encounters. It has also been found that victims of sexual abuse, such as sexual coercion, are more likely to have more sexual partners than other adolescents, thus increasing the odds of disease transmission. This data is consistent with other research on teenage parenthood.20,21 An unfortunate aspect of this topic is, simply, the lack of research specifically focused on it. Other than dissertations on the psychological and emotional repercussions of sexual coercion and other abuse, there is virtually no data by which one can cross reference Andersonis report. Whatever the case, much research is needed to yet identify the causes, effects, and ramifications on the relationship between coercion and interpersonal communication consequences. In many situations, Adolescents may be, in fact, unknowingly inviting sexual coercion by giving the impression that they are despondent, easily exploited, or manipulatible.

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The Relationship Between History of Sexual Compulsion and Perceived Interpersonal Communication Skills. (2022, Nov 07). Retrieved from

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