Men’s Partner-Directed Insults and Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationships
Valerie G. Starratt & Aaron T. Goetz & Todd K. Shackelford & William F. McKibbin & Steve Stewart-Williams
Women who have been sexually coerced by an intimate partner experience many negative health consequences. Recent research has focused on predicting this sexual coercion. In two studies, we investigated the relationship between men’s use of partner-directed insults and sexually coercive behaviors in the context of intimate relationships. Study 1 secured self-reports from 247 men on the Partner-Directed Insults Scale and the Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationships Scale. Study 2 obtained partner reports from 378 women on the same measures. Across both studies, results indicate that men’s use of sexually coercive behaviors can be statistically predicted by the frequency and content of the insults that men direct at their intimate partner. Insults derogating a partner’s value as a person and accusing a partner of sexual infidelity were most useful in predicting sexual coercion. The discussion notes limitations of the current research and highlights directions for future research.