Compared with other forms of intimate partner violence, very little is known about sexual coercion (SC) and its correlates in intact couples from the general population. Among potential dispositional risk factors for SC, neuroticism has been related to various aspects of couple functioning, including psychological and physical partner abuse. Based on theoretical and empirical evidence, we suggest the existence of two maladaptive profiles on the neuroticism dimension and examine the curvilinear association between neuroticism and men’s SC.
A total of 299 adult couples completed measures of neuroticism and SC perpetrated by the male partner. Descriptive analyses indicated that SC translated mainly into insistence or partner pressure to engage the other in unwanted sexual activities. Results confirmed the hypothesis that both lower and higher levels of men’s neuroticism predict higher levels of men’s perpetrated SC, while low to moderate levels of neuroticism predict lower levels of men’s SC.
These findings contribute to the empirical literature on SC in community samples of couples and bear significant clinical implications for the evaluation and treatment of couples experiencing these negative sexual experiences.
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- a Department of Sexology, Université du Québec à Montréal
- b Interdisciplinary Research Centre on Intimate Relationship Problems and Sexual Abuse (CRIPCAS)
- c School of Psychology, Université Laval
- d Department of Psychology, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières
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