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ERIC Number: EJ914824
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 43
ISSN: ISSN-0361-6843
Shades of Gray: A Qualitative Study of Terms Used in the Measurement of Sexual Victimization
Hamby, Sherry L.; Koss, Mary P.
Psychology of Women Quarterly, v27 n3 p243-255 Sep 2003
Methodological analyses of sexual victimization research are still rare, despite the explosion of interest in this topic and widely varying rates across studies. In-depth analysis of the meaning of differences in rates is especially lacking. A series of five ethnically and geographically diverse focus groups were held to explore how wording in sexual victimization surveys affects the reporting of various types of negative sexual experiences. Participants provided rich formulations about sexual intercourse that suggest there is a wide range of coercion, from peer pressure to lose one's virginity to partner pressure to demonstrate one's commitment to stereotypical forced rape. Focus group participants asserted that many terms that are often used synonymously, such as "unwanted," "nonvoluntary," and "forced," have distinct meanings. They also described how different social pressures on women and men, and differences in physical size lead to inevitable differences in perceptions of coerciveness. Although recent sexual victimization surveys have increased the specificity of descriptions of sexual acts, these findings suggest that it is equally important to be precise in communicating what is meant by coercion. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A