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Sexual Aggression Against Women by Men Acquaintances: Attitudes and Experiences among Spanish University Students

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 April 2014

Eric Sipsma*
University of Amsterdam
José-Antonio Carrobles Isabel*
Autonomous University of Madrid
Ignacio Montorio Cerrato
Autonomous University of Madrid
Walter Everaerd
University of Amsterdam
Correspondence to the first author should be addressed to the Rutgers Stichting, Business Unit Education & Training, P.O. Box 9663, 3506 GR, Utrecht, The, Netherlands.
Address correspondence to the second author at the Departamento de Psicología, Sección de Psicobiología y Psicología de la Salud.Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Ciudad Universitaria Canto Blanco. 28049 Madrid (Spain).


Extensive prior research has indicated that sexual assault is highly prevalent among American college students. The purpose of this study was to assess Spanish students' attitudes about forced sex and actual experiences with male-against-female sexual aggression (SA) at a major university campus. A date-rape story was presented whereupon students (N = 412) indicated the extent to which they thought forced sex was acceptable or unacceptable in ten hypothetical situations (Giarusso, Johnson, Goodchilds, & Zellman, 1979). A second section examined whether a female or male Spanish student had experienced or engaged in a broad range of coercive sexual activities (Koss & Oros, 1982). A third section elicited help-seeking behavior in those cases where a female student had experienced unwanted sexual activity (Ogletree, 1993). It was hypothesized that students would differ in their acceptance of forced sex as a function of sex, branch and year of study, and actual experience with SA. Results showed that acceptance of forced sex was significantly related to sex, year of study and experience with SA. Results also revealed that 17.5% of all male students (n = 189) accepted forced sex and 33.2% of all female students (n = 223) had experienced some form of unwanted sexual activity; 7.7% of the women had experienced attempted or completed rape. Only 39% of those women victimized sought any form of help. The implications of these findings for rape-prevention programs are discussed.

Tal y como han mostrado investigaciones previas, la agresión sexual es muy común entre los estudiantes universitarios estadounidenses. El objetivo de esta investigación es analizar tanto las actitudes de los estudiantes españoles hacia el sexo forzado como las experiencias reales de agresión sexual (AS) de los varones hacia las mujeres dentro del campus universitario. En una primera sesión, a los estudiantes (N = 412), se les presentaban diez situaciones hipotéticas de violación. Los participantes debían indicar hasta qué punto el sexo forzado les resultaba aceptable o inaceptable (Giarusso, Johnson, Goodchilds y Zellman, 1979). En una segunda sesión se pedía a varones y mujeres que indicasen si habían tenido experiencias o participado en actividades sexuales forzadas (Koss y Oros, 1982). También se investigó el comportamiento de búsqueda de ayuda de las alumnas en el caso de haber tenido una experiencia sexual no deseada (Ogletree, 1993). La hipótesis establecía que habría diferencias significativas en el grado de aceptación del sexo forzado en función del sexo, de la carrera, del curso y de las experiencias reales de AS. Los resultados revelaron que la aceptación del sexo forzado se relacionaba significativamente con el sexo, el curso y la experiencia con AS. Los resultados también mostraron que el 17.5% de los varones (n = 189) aceptan el sexo forzado y el 33.2% de las alumnas (n = 223) han tenido alguna forma de actividad sexual no deseada. El 7.7% de las mujeres han vivido un intento de violación o una violación. Solamente el 39% de las víctimas buscó algún tipo de ayuda. Por último, se comentan las implicaciones de estos resultados para la elaboración de programas preventivos de violación.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2000

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