While young women being coerced into unwanted sexual experiences seem to make headlines regularly, the opposite situation — young men being coerced into sexual situations — is rarely discussed or studied.
Research from the American Psychological Association recently found though that 43 percent of high school boys and college age men reported being coerced into a sexual experience. Of that group, 95 percent said the aggressor was a female acquaintance.
“Sexual victimization continues to be a pervasive problem in the United States, but the victimization of men is rarely explored,” lead author Dr. Bryana French from the University of Missouri, said. “Our findings can help lead to better prevention by identifying the various types of coercion that men face and by acknowledging women as perpetrators against men.”
Here’s the breakdown of situations that led to these unwanted sexual experiences from the 284 students surveyed:
- 31 percent verbally coerced
- 26 percent coerced through unwanted seduction
- 18 percent physically coerced
- 7 percent coerced through drugs or alcohol
“It may be the case that sexual coercion by women doesn’t affect males’ self-perceptions in the same way that it does when women are coerced. Instead it may inadvertently be consistent with expectations of masculinity and sexual desire, though more research is needed to better understand this relationship,” French said.
The study will be published in the March issue of the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity.