Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Social.


Senn, Charlene Y.,




Research in the area of coercive heterosexual sex has assumed that the shocking frequency of men's sexual coercion of women is due in part to misunderstandings and miscommunication between women and men, so that a woman may experience as coercive a sexual interaction which the man believes to be consensual. The present study was designed to investigate sex differences in perceptions of and communication during sexual encounters. Forty university undergraduates, 20 women and 20 men, were asked about their own experiences with coercive sex and then wrote stories based on an outline in which a woman and a man who were on a date experienced conflict over sexual activity (one person made a sexual advance, the other refused it, eventually sexual intercourse occurred: one story was written in which the unwanted advance was made by the man, another in which it was made by the woman). The participants' responses provided strong evidence that heterosexual coercion is rarely if ever a result of misunderstanding or miscommunication. Women and men demonstrated that they viewed sex in different ways, but they also understood how their date, as a member of the other sex, viewed it. Women and men communicated in very similar ways about sex, used similar behavioural cues, and the inferences that they made based on their date's behaviours were accurate. Thus, it is argued to be necessary that we begin to research intentionally coercive sex. A number of lines of argument based on the data of the present study do support the thesis that most coercive sex is intentional on the part of the man.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .M32. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-06, page: 1710. Adviser: Charlene Y. Senn. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.