Number of Sexual Partners and Sexual Assertiveness Predict Sexual Victimization: Do More Partners Equal More Risk?
In previous studies, number of sexual partners and sexual assertiveness were examined as independent risk factors for sexual victimization among college women. Using a sample of 335 college women, this study examined the interaction of number of sexual partners and sexual assertiveness on verbal sexual coercion and rape. Approximately 32% of the sample reported unwanted sexual intercourse, 6.9% (n = 23) experienced verbal sexual coercion, 17.9% (n = 60) experienced rape, and 7.2% (n = 24) experienced both. As number of sexual partners increased, instances of verbal sexual coercion increased for women low in relational sexual assertiveness but not for women high in relational sexual assertiveness. A similar relationship was not found for rape. Among women who experienced both verbal sexual coercion and rape, increases in number of partners in the context of low refusal and relational assertiveness were associated with increases in verbal sexual coercion and rape. Findings suggest sexual assertiveness is related to fewer experiences of sexual coercion.