Washington, March 26: Women are seducing or even threatening teenage boys and male college students into forced or coerced sex, according to a significant study that explores sexual victimisation of men in the US.
A large proportion of teenage boys and college men have reported having been coerced into sex or sexual behaviour. Nearly 43 percent of high school boys and young college men reported they had an unwanted sexual experience and of those, 95 percent said a female acquaintance was the aggressor.
Importantly, Asian-American students reported significantly fewer sexual coercion experiences compared with other ethnic groups, the study added.
“Sexual victimisation continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States but the victimisation of men is rarely explored,” said lead author Bryana H. French of University of Missouri. “Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men,” French added.
Of the 284 US high school and college students who responded to a survey about unwanted sexual encounters, 18 percent reported sexual coercion by physical force. Nearly 31 percent said they were verbally coerced while 26 percent described unwanted seduction by sexual behaviours.
About seven percent said they were compelled after being given alcohol or drugs, according to the study. Half of the students said they ended up having intercourse, 10 percent reported an attempt to have intercourse and 40 percent said the result was kissing or fondling.
“It may be the case that sexual coercion by women does not affect males’ self-perceptions in the same way that it does when women are coerced. Instead it may inadvertently be consistent with expectations of masculinity and sexual desire,” French explained.
Examples of coercion included “My partner threatened to stop seeing me” for verbal; “My partner encouraged me to drink alcohol and then took advantage of me” for substance; “My partner threatened to use or did use a weapon” for physical; and “My partner has tried to interest me by sexually touching but I was not interested” for seduction.
Unwanted seduction was a particularly pervasive form of sexual coercion in this study, as well as peer pressure and a victim’s own sense of an obligation. “Seduction was a particularly salient and potentially unique form of coercion for teenage boys and young men when compared to their female counterparts,” French said in the study published in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.