Attachment Anxiety, Rape Myth Acceptance, and Sexual Compliance

Brewer, Gayle ORCID: 0000-0003-0690-4548 and Forrest-Redfern, Anna
(2020) Attachment Anxiety, Rape Myth Acceptance, and Sexual Compliance. Journal of Interpersonal Violence: concerned with the study and treatment of victims and perpetrators of physical and sexual violence, 37 (7-8). NP4626-NP4639.

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People may consent to sexual activity with a partner when they do not desire it (i.e., sexual compliance), and such behavior is particularly prevalent in women. Despite the negative consequences of unwanted sex, (e.g., guilt and poor health), few studies have considered those factors influencing sexual compliance. Attachment anxiety is characterized by overestimation of relationship threats and sensitivity to romantic rejection and rape myths are beliefs about rape that deny, trivialize, or justify sexual aggression and assault. In the present study both attachment anxiety and rape myth acceptance were hypothesized to influence perceptions of unwanted sex and personal experience of sexual compliance. Heterosexual women (N = 158) completed a series of online standardized self-report measures. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to determine whether attachment anxiety and rape myth acceptance predicted women’s perceptions of unwanted sex (perpetrator blame, victim blame, no blame, compliance, confrontation, and ignore) and personal experience of sexual compliance, while controlling for participant age and length of their current romantic relationship. Women high on attachment anxiety were less likely to endorse confrontation of a partner and were more likely to report personal experience of unwanted sex. Those accepting rape myths were more likely to endorse compliance and less likely to blame perpetrators or endorse confrontation of the partner. Future research should consider the consequences of unwanted sex and experiences of sexual compliance in nonheterosexual relationships and those who do not identify as women.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: anxiety, attachment, rape myths, sexual compliance, unwanted sex
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2020 08:02
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:37
DOI: 10.1177/0886260520948526
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