Title

Emancipatory sexuality education and sexual assault resistance: Does the former enhance the latter?

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3463-5704

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2010

Publication Title

Psychology of Women Quarterly

Volume

35

Issue

1

First Page

72

Last Page

91

DOI

10.1177/0361684310384101

Keywords

Acquaintance rape, Intervention, Program evaluation, Resistance, Self-defense, Self-efficacy, Sex education

Abstract

The current study examined whether adding emancipatory sexuality education, which encourages the exploration of women's own sexual values and desires, to a sexual assault resistance program would improve women's resistance to sexual assault by known men. The participants were 214 first-year university students. A randomized experimental design evaluated the effectiveness of a basic and sexuality enhanced version of a sexual assault resistance program against a no-program control. Both programs, compared to the control group, increased women's perception of their own risk, their confidence that they could defend themselves if attacked, and their use of more effective methods of self-defense in hypothetical situations of acquaintance sexual assault. Effects were maintained from 3 to 6 months after program completion. No significant reductions in completed sexual assault were found. The sexuality enhanced program was superior in several areas, particularly risk detection and initiation of sexual activity, which may be important to women's integration of the program's content to their lives. Future research will need to strengthen and continue to evaluate the promising programs for women which now exist. Until effective programming for men on campus is developed and implemented widely, our best hope to improve the health and safety of female students lays in comprehensive women-only multi-unit sexual assault resistance education. © The Author(s) 2011.

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