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Relationships between college women's responses to the multidimensional sexuality questionnaire and the heterosexual contact scale.


Sexual aggression is a pervasive problem on college campuses. For example, in a large national study, Fisher, Cullen, and Turner (2000) reported that approximately 15-20 percent of college women have experienced forced intercourse. Most research has examined college men's sexual aggression toward women (e.g., Carr & VanDeusen, 2004; Romero, 2004). Sexually aggressive men have been described as being hypermasculine, angry, desiring power, and having negative relationship experiences (Browning, Kessler, Hatfield, & Choo, 1999; Christopher, Owens, & Stecker, 1993; Hogben, Byrne, & Hamburger, 1996).

In contrast, the notion of women's sexual aggression challenges long held theories about human sexual behavior (see Anderson & Struckman--Johnson, 1998). Several factors have been related to women's heterosexual aggression including: sexual behavior history and adolescent telephone calling patterns (Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, & Struckman-Johnson 2005); hostility toward the other gender (Christopher, Madura, & Weaver, 1998); and a belief in non-traditional roles for women (Craig-Shea, 1998).

Researchers (Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, & Struckman-Johnson 2005; Anderson & Melson, 2002) have reported that more than 90 percent of college women used sexual persuasion to obtain sex from a man. The same study reported that 40-50 percent of women used non-physical coercion, and 1-9 percent used physical force. However, previous research has not considered the underlying psychological factors supporting college women's sexual aggression. Linking aspects of measurable psychological factors to sexual aggression in women may help us predict and prevent its occurrence. Therefore, the present study was designed to provide an initial exploration of the relationships between measures of women's psychosexual tendencies and their use of sexually aggressive behaviors.

One self-report measure of psychological tendencies related to human sexuality is the Multidimensional Sexuality Questionnaire (MSQ: (Snell, Fisher, & Walters, 1993). The MSQ contains 12 factors related to sexuality: preoccupation, motivation, anxiety, assertiveness, depression, monitoring, self-esteem, internal control, external control, consciousness, satisfaction, and fear. The MSQ has demonstrated good concurrent, discriminant, and convergent validity (Snell, Fisher, & Walters, 1993). The MSQ was tested with three separate samples of heterosexual college students from three different types of universities, two located in the Midwest and one in the Southeast (n = 234 males and 423 females, M age of samples = 24.1, 20.4, and 21 years). Men, in general, reported higher scores on sexual e Esteem, preoccupation, motivation, assertiveness, and external sexual control. Women, in general, reported higher scores on fear of sexual relations.

Correlations were computed for MSQ scores and reports of sexual behaviors on two separate instruments, the Cowart-Steckler Scale of Sexual Experience (Cowart-Steckler & Pollack, 1988) and the Human Sexuality Questionnaire (Zuckerman, 1988). For both men and women, past sexual activity was positively related to their level of sexual esteem, motivation, and satisfaction and negatively related to their sexual anxiety, depression, and external control. Fear was negatively related, and assertiveness was positively related to the two measures of sexual behavior for women, but not for men. Correlations between the MSQ and sexual attitudes revealed that respondents with higher scores on preoccupation believed more strongly in casual, guilt free sex and manipulative self-centered sex (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1987). Those subjects who had higher scores on motivation mirrored those who scored high on preoccupation and also believed in responsible and nonjudgmental sex and idealized sex (e.g., the merging of two souls). External control was related to casual guilt-free and manipulative self-centered sex and internal control was related to responsible nonjudgmental sex. Finally, consciousness was related to responsible nonjudgmental sex and anxiety was related to manipulative self-centered sex.

Snell, Fisher, and Walters (1993) concluded that all but two (internal control and monitoring) of the twelve factors were predictive of people's likelihood of engaging in sexual relations. Moreover, those persons who reported greater sexual anxiety, depression, and external control were less likely to initiate sexual relations. Both men's and women's MSQ scores appear to be predictably related to their sexual behaviors.

One frequently used self-report measure of women's heterosexual strategies to obtain sexual contact is the Heterosexual Contact Scale (HSC) originally developed by Anderson (1988). Other measures that have shown promise in measuring women's use of sexual strategies include Krahe, Scheinberger-Olwig, and Bieneck (2003) and O'Sullivan and Byers (1993). Both these questionnaires have seen very limited use compared to the HSC.

In a study of women from an urban university in the south (n = 272, Mean age = 25.9 years) and a rural university in the midwest (n = 268, Mean age = 21.3 years), Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, and Struckman-Johnson (2005) assessed demographics, geographical location, sexual behavior history, past abuse, and adolescent telephone calling patterns (e.g., how many boys they called and how often they called boys) in relation to self-reported use of sexually aggressive and non-aggressive strategies using the Heterosexual Contact Scale (HSC: Anderson, 1998) to obtain sex from men. The 45 questions contained in the HSC were modeled after the work of Koss and Oros (1982) and formatted in the same style, e.g.: "How many times have you had sexual contact with a man ...?". The items were intended to assess women's behaviors related to establishing sexual contact with men. Anderson et al. (2005) found no differences between the two geographical groups in the use of aggressive or non-aggressive sexual strategies. Within the groups, university women who used physical force strategies reported a younger age at first intercourse, more lifetime sexual partners, and made more telephone calls to more boys during adolescence. Women who used coercive strategies also reported more lifetime sexual partners. The authors concluded that the use of sexually aggressive strategies by women in this sample was related to their sexual behavior history and adolescent calling patterns rather than their geographical location or demographics. This was the first study to find a relationship between the rehearsal behavior of adolescent calling patterns and the adult use of aggressive sexual strategies. The relationships reported in the study linked the use of non-physical coercion and physical force strategies to possible indicators of the respondents' psychosexual preoccupation, motivation, and assertiveness.

A study by Christopher, Madura, and Weaver (1998) examined the responses of single college men and women to a modified version of the Koss and Oros (1985) survey about their sexually aggressive behaviors. They found initial support for a positive relationship between the use of sexual aggression and the following factors: associating with sexually aggressive individuals, relationship conflict, ambivalence (but not for commitment), the acceptance of rape myths, hostility toward the other gender, and being sexually aggressive in the past. Surprisingly, there was no support for a relationship between sexual aggression and gender. For women and men, relationship conflict and the past use of aggressive strategies were positively related to sexual aggression. Sexual aggression was also positively related to hostility toward men among women, and acceptance of rape myths among men. The researchers argued that women experience more success with the use of aggressive strategies to obtain sex than men. They believe that women are, therefore, more likely to experience their desired outcome, which will reinforce the use of these strategies in future relationships.

Craig-Shea (1998) examined sexual coercion toward men among 432 college women from a large southeastern college. She found that the coercive women were more likely than the non-coercive women to have sex on a first or second date, to ascribe to greater arousal from the physical aspects of sex, to enjoy "kinky" or unusual sex, to value control and power in sexual circumstances, and to ascribe to more "nontraditional" sexual standards for women. Also, the coercive women were more likely than the non-coercive women to have experienced physical force from their parents when they were children, to engage in token resistance to a man's advances (i.e., say "no" and mean "yes" to sexual intercourse), to have experienced sexual coercion from a man, to be self-monitoring (i.e., to be more likely to conform to the expectations of those around them), and expressed more interest in sexual feelings and desires (e.g., looking at sexy pictures or watching X-rated movies). Craig-Shea concluded that coercive women were more attuned to the expectations of others, more sexual- rather than relationship-oriented, more likely to believe in non-traditional sex roles for women, and more power-oriented than non-coercive women. The relationships reported in the study linked women's use of non-physical coercion strategies to possible indicators of the respondents' psychosexual preoccupation, motivation, monitoring, and external control.


The purpose of the current study was to compare the psychosexual tendencies (as measured by responses to the MSQ) of women who did not initiate sex with the psychosexual tendencies of those who used one of three sexual initiation strategies: persuasion, non-physical coercion, or force (as measured by responses to the HSC). A second purpose of the study was to compare psychosexual factors related to human sexual behavior between women from a southern urban (SU) university and a rural midwestern university (RM). The final purpose was to assess the relationship between select variables (location, age, age at first intercourse, number of lifetime sexual partners, and past sexual abuse) and MSQ scores in this sample.


Results from previous research suggest that women's psychosexual lives differ in relationship to their use of specific sexual initiation strategies (Christopher, McQuaid, & Updegraff, 1999). Specifically, women who were sexually coercive were more likely to be sexually dissatisfied, in poor or dysfunctional relationships, and have a negative sexual self-concept. Therefore, we hypothesized that women who did not initiate sex (i.e., used no sexual strategies) would score higher on sexual esteem and satisfaction and lower on preoccupation, motivation, assertiveness, internal control, depression, and external control than those who used non-physical coercion or force strategies. Similarly, we hypothesized that women who used persuasion strategies would score higher on sexual esteem and satisfaction and lower on preoccupation, motivation, assertiveness, and internal control than those who used non-physical coercion or force. Based on the findings of Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, and Struckman-Johnson (2005), we expected that women who did not initiate sex and those who used force strategies would score higher on sexual anxiety and fear of sexual relationships than those who used persuasion strategies or non-physical coercion strategies. Finally, we asked the question: would there be differences in MSQ scores based on location (i.e., RM vs. US university setting), or personal characteristics (i.e., age, age at first intercourse, number of lifetime sexual partners, and past sexual abuse).



In the present study, 540 women volunteers were recruited from health and psychology classes at a southern urban (SU) (n= 272) and rural midwestern (RM) university (n= 268). The SU women averaged 25.9 years of age (SD=9.1) and the RM women averaged 21.3 years (SD=4.3). More SU women were married (19.9% vs. 6.0%), divorced (7.1% vs. 2.3%,), or cohabiting (11.8% vs. 10.5%) than RM women. However, RM women were more likely to be single (81.2% vs. 60.8%). These differences are reflective of the ages of the two samples. The SU sample contained more minorities (28.5% vs. 3.7%), especially Blacks (16.7% vs. 0.7%), than the RM sample. This finding reflects the geographical locations and population densities of the two samples. Previously reported results from these two populations indicated that there were no differences between the groups on the use of any of the sexual strategies (Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, & Struckman-Johnson 2005). Therefore, the samples were collapsed for within group comparisons.


Psychosexual factors. The MSQ is an objective self-report measure consisting of 12 different psychological tendencies or factors related to sexual relationships. The 12 factors include sexual preoccupation (e.g., the tendency to become absorbed with sexual thoughts), motivation (e.g., the desire to be involved in sexual relationships), anxiety (e.g., the tendency to feel tension about sexuality), assertiveness (e.g., the tendency to be sexually assertive), depression (e.g., the tendency to feel depressed about the sexual aspects of one's life), monitoring (e.g., the tendency to be aware of the public impression of one's sexuality), self-esteem (e.g., the tendency to positively evaluate one's sexuality), internal control (e.g., the belief that one is in control of the sexual aspects of their life), external control (e.g., the belief that human sexuality is outside of one's control), consciousness (e.g., the tendency to reflect on the nature of one's sexuality), satisfaction (e.g., the tendency to be satisfied with the sexual aspects of one's life), and fear (e.g., the fear of engaging in sexual relations with another person). The MSQ contains 60 items; 5 items to measure each tendency or factor. Each item asks respondents to rate their response on a Likert-type scale of 0 (not at all characteristic of me) to 4 (very characteristic of me). The MSQ has also shown good convergent, concurrent and discriminate validity (Snell, Fisher, & Walters, 1993). The internal reliability of the MSQ using Cronbach's alpha was .85. Individual factor alpha's in the current study ranged from .71 to .94.

Sexual strategies. The Heterosexual Contact Scale (HSC; Anderson & Newton, 2004) is a self-report measure of behaviors and strategies used to initiate sex. The version of the HSC used in this study is the third generation of a measure initially developed by Anderson (1988), revised by Anderson and Newton (2000), and revised again by Anderson, Kontos, Tanigoshi, and Struckman-Johnson (2005). The HSC contains 45 items, with 3 components that measure the use of persuasive, non-physically coercive, and physically forceful sexual strategies or no initiation of sexual contact with men. The internal reliability (using Cronbach's alpha) of the three factors in the current sample was .84 for persuasion, .66 for non-physical coercion, and .90 for physical force. With the exception of non-physical coercion, the current reliabilities for the three scales were considerably higher than in previous research, which reported alphas ranging from .43 (Exploitation) to .75 (Hidden Motives) (Anderson & Newton, 1997).

In the current study, persuasion represented initiatory strategies that included behaviors such as giving massages, dancing seductively, and wearing clothing or perfume expected to be arousing (Anderson, 1998). Non-physical coercion included psychological or verbal pressure (e.g., lying, using your position of power or authority, or questioning someone's sexuality) to initiate sexual contact (Anderson & Struckman-Johnson, 1998). Physical force was defined as the threat or use of physical force (e.g., hitting or holding down) to gain sexual access ( Anderson, 1998).

Persuasion, non-physical coercion, and physical force strategies, or the use of no sexual strategies, were measured using selected items from the HSC. Respondents were instructed to record a number in response to questions posed in the format of "How many times have you attempted to have sexual contact with a man ...?" Sexual contact was defined as including kissing, petting, or intercourse. To create a model that best represented the three-component characterization of sexual initiatory strategies used in this study, the 45-item HSC was condensed post hoc into 16 items and then divided into 3 scales. The 16 items selected (see Appendix A**) were direct measures of actual sexual initiatory behaviors. Scores were then dichotomized so that any numbered response to an item represented a "yes" and any zero response to an item represented a "no". Categories were progressive. Individuals were classified in only one category representing the highest level of aggressive strategy that they employed. To be placed in the 'none' category equaled a 'no' response to all 16 items.

Persuasion. The first scale, persuasion, was comprised of five items (e.g., by dancing or moving seductively, by giving him a massage). Persuasion equaled a "yes" response to any persuasion item and "no" responses to all items in the other strategies.

Non-physical coercion. The second scale, non-physical coercion, was comprised of five items (e.g., by threatening to end your relationship, by pressuring him with verbal arguments). Non-physical coercion equaled a "yes" response to any of the items in that subscale with "no" responses to all the items in the physical force category (persons in the non-physical coercion classification could have used persuasion strategies too, but not physical force strategies).

Physical force. The third scale, physical force, was comprised of six items (e.g., by holding him down, by hitting him, by using physical force). Physical force equaled any "yes" answer to the use of a physical force strategy (persons in the physical force classification could have used persuasion strategies and non-physical force strategies too).


Following approval by the Human Subjects Research Committees at each institution, written informed consent was obtained from each subject who volunteered to participate in the study. Students were then given a questionnaire packet to take home, complete and return to the researchers at the next class meeting. The questionnaires used in the present study combined the previously described MSQ and HSC along with demographic questions about age, marital status, ethnicity, age at first intercourse, number of lifetime sexual partners, and past sexual abuse. Subjects were given no incentives for their participation. A total of 700 questionnaires were distributed evenly between the two campuses. The usable returns represented participation rates of 77.7 percent for the SU university and 76.5 percent for the RM university.


To test our three hypotheses, a MANOVA (p<.001) comparing the four levels of sexual initiation behaviors indicated that the behavior groups differed in sexual esteem, preoccupation, consciousness, motivation, anxiety, external control, monitoring, and satisfaction (see Table 1). Against prediction, subjects engaging in no sexual initiation behaviors reported lower levels of sexual esteem and satisfaction than the other groups. Subjects using force reported higher levels of sexual esteem, sexual consciousness, preoccupation and motivation than all other groups. Subjects using force also reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction than those not initiating or those using non-physical coercion, and subjects using persuasion reported higher satisfaction than those using non-physical coercion. Subjects using non-physical coercion reported higher levels of sexual preoccupation, motivation, and anxiety than those using persuasion.Subjects using non-physical coercion also reported higher levels of external sexual control than both the persuasion and force groups and higher sexual monitoring than those using persuasion or not initiating.

To answer our research question, independent t-tests indicated that the SU sample was older, reported more lifetime sexual partners, and more past sexual abuse than the MR sample (p<.05). A MANCOVA covaried for age comparing the SU and RM schools on the MSQ revealed that the SU sample was higher (p<.001) in sexual consciousness and assertiveness, and lower in external control than the RM sample (see Table 2).

In addition, a series of Pearson product moment correlations revealed several significant, though low to moderate magnitude (r= .10-.30) relationships between the MSQ factors and age, age at first intercourse, lifetime number of sexual partners, and past sexual abuse (see Table 3). Age was positively related to sexual self-esteem, consciousness, motivation, and assertiveness; and negatively related to sexual anxiety, external control, and monitoring. Significant negative correlations were present for age at first intercourse and sexual self-esteem, consciousness, motivation, anxiety, assertiveness, depression, external control, and monitoring. A MANOVA comparing subjects who had been sexually abused with those who had not been sexually abused on the MSQ factors was non-significant. Although sexual abuse was positively related to sexual consciousness and motivation, it was not significantly related to sexual anxiety, depression, fear, and internal and external control.


As predicted, women who did not initiate sexual contact with men scored lower on sexual preoccupation and motivation than those using force. They did not differ significantly on either variable from those using non-physical coercion, and there were no group differences on assertiveness, depression, or internal and external control. In contrast to our hypothesis, women who did not initiate scored lower on sexual satisfaction and sexual esteem than all other groups. Perhaps, women who are not sexually preoccupied or motivated may forgo satisfaction due to lack of will to fulfill their own needs or a lack of self knowledge acquired through thoughts of sex. The sexual esteem result is inconsistent with the results reported by Christopher, McQuaid, & Updegraff (1999), but is logically consistent. Women who lack a positive evaluation of their ability to relate sexually to others would, logically, be less likely to initiate sexual activity than women who positively evaluated their ability to relate sexually to others.

Women who used persuasion strategies did not score higher on sexual esteem or satisfaction than those who used non-physical coercion or force. Women who used persuasion did score higher on sexual satisfaction than those who used non-physical coercion, but not higher than those who used force. Subjects using force reported higher levels of sexual motivation, preoccupation, and consciousness than all other groups and those using non-physical coercion reported higher levels or motivation and preoccupation than those using persuasion. This result represents a linear progression of sexual motivation and preoccupation that translates to a progression of coercive strategies from non-physical coercion to force. Women in this study who are more preoccupied with sex and more motivated to be involved in sexual relationships are also more willing to use more aggressive sexual strategies. Given these results, women's sexual preoccupation and motivation deserve significant future study.

Women who used non-physical coercion scored higher on sexual monitoring (i.e., the tendency to be aware of the public impression that your sexuality makes on others) than women using persuasion and women who did not initiate. Women who used non-physical coercion also scored higher on external control than women who reported using persuasion or force. Researchers have documented that men engage in unwanted sex because of peer pressure or a desire to be popular (Muehlenhard & Cook, 1988). Craig-Shea (1998) confirmed that women in her samples who coerced sex from men were different from women who did not coerce in that they scored higher on questionnaire items measuring self-monitoring. It could be that the women in this study felt a certain amount of social pressure to have sex or to have sex with a particular man and were willing to use coercive strategies to meet this goal. Rape myth acceptance has also been linked to sexual aggression committed by both men and women (White, Donat, & Humphrey, 1996). Although rape myth acceptance was not tested in this study, it may interact with self-monitoring (or perceived social norms) and external control items and could be part of an interesting future test.

Women who did not initiate and those who used force strategies did not score higher on sexual anxiety and fear of sexual relationships than those who use persuasion strategies or non-physical coercion strategies. The higher levels of sexual self-esteem and satisfaction and lower level of anxiety reported by women who used force to obtain sex indicates that these women were more secure in their sexuality than women using other strategies. These results are contrary to our predictions and previous research (Christopher, McQuaid, & Updegraff, 1999).

Women using non-physical coercion reported the highest scores on sexual anxiety, significantly higher than those using persuasion. Seductive strategies are representative of mutual arousal, consent, and desire for sexual intimacy. Most, if not all, of the items that represent non-physical coercion involve manipulation, lying, or taking advantage of another person for your purposes with diminished regard for their mutual consent. Prior research has documented social support for women, more than men, to violate a partner's consent to kiss without using other forms of non-physical coercion (Margolin, 1990); it would seem that becoming coercive did produce anxiety for this sample of women.

The results indicated that SU women scored higher on sexual consciousness (i.e., the tendency to reflect about the nature of your sexuality) and assertiveness (i.e., the tendency to be sexually assertive) and lower on external control (i.e., that human sexuality is determined by chance or forces outside your control). The differences between the groups suggest that women in the urban southern school were more comfortable in their sexuality than women in the rural Midwestern school. Previous authors have noted that women living in rural areas may experience social isolation, limited access to services, and high poverty rates that place them at greater risk for teen pregnancy and intimate violence (Atav & Spencer, 2002; Logan, Walker, Cole, Ratiff, & Leukefeld, 2003; Ruback & Menard, 2001). These same factors could likely limit or damage their sexuality in ways that may be detected on the MSQ subscales with the result that they score as less sexually comfortable than their urban counterparts. It is also possible that the conservative political, religious, and social climate of rural America impacts these women's comfort with their sexuality.

There were significant relationships between MSQ scores and personal characteristics. Most notably, age at first intercourse was negatively related to nine MSQ items, including sexual esteem, sexual anxiety and sexual depression, meaning that the younger a woman's age at first intercourse the higher her sexual esteem, anxiety, and depression. According to Education Week (10/26/2005), the average age of first intercourse among young women dropped from 19 to 15, and the number of sexually active girls increased from 13 percent to 47 percent between 1943 and 1999. Research has connected early age at first intercourse with increased likelihood of STIs, risk of teen pregnancy, and illegal drinking and drug use (Miller, Cain, Rogers, Gribble, & Turner, 1999; Whitwer, 1997; Leitenberg & Saltzman, 2000). The connection found here between early age at first intercourse and higher sexual anxiety and depression fit with previous research, but perhaps not with concurrent higher sexual esteem. Sexual esteem measures the tendency to positively evaluate one's ability to relate sexually to someone else, while anxiety and depression measure tension, discomfort, and depression about the sexual aspects of one's life. It is reasonable to assert that our respondents, of whom fewer than 20 percent were married, believed they could relate sexually to others, but that they still harbored tension or depression about this aspect of their lives because of social, religious, or personal conflicts about their sexual behavior. These concerns could also be reflected in their higher scores on sexual consciousness (a tendency to reflect about sexuality), preoccupation (a tendency to be obsessed with sexual thoughts), and monitoring (a tendency to be aware of public impressions about one's sexuality). Women with a younger age at first intercourse were also more sexually motivated, assertive, and likely to believe that their sexuality is determined by external forces (e.g., chance).

The relationship between the respondents' age and MSQ scores is perhaps the most straightforward and easiest to understand. Older respondents were more likely to have higher sexual esteem, motivation, and assertiveness with concurrent lower anxiety, belief in external control, and monitoring. These older women have developed a more mature and comfortable sexuality that includes an ability to accept their sexual desires, assert themselves sexually, and be less concerned about the opinions of others. It could also be that the older women were more likely to be married and therefore living a lifestyle that includes social expectations for sexual expression.

Similarly, women with more lifetime sexual partners scored higher on sexual esteem, consciousness, preoccupation, motivation, both internal and external control, and assertiveness, and lower on sexual fear. This group also reflects a more comfortable sexuality and more sexual agency. This group could also include a higher portion of those women who are older and/or married with more social support for their sexuality.

Some studies (Capuzzi & Gross, 1996; Macchietto, 1992; Masagutov & Anderson, 2003) have linked experiencing past abuse to a variety of negative outcomes for both women and men, including: poor psychological functioning, anxiety, and depression. In this study, the experience of past sexual abuse was positively related to sexual consciousness (the tendency to think and reflect about one's sexuality) and motivation (the desire to be involved in a sexual relationship). This result would not support previous findings, but would support the idea that past abuse can lead to greater self-reflection about sexuality with a concurrent desire for sexual behavior.

Several of our initial hypotheses were in error. The theory that is supported by many who work and research in the field of sexual aggression is that the use of sexually coercive or forceful strategies is motivated by a need for power and control rather than a desire for sexual pleasure (Rozee & Koss, 2001; Stets & Proog-Good, 1989). These results clearly contradict that contention. It is possible that measuring the need for power and control, which we did not do, would confound these results or support an interaction between the need for power and sexual motivation, preoccupation, and/or consciousness as measured by the MSQ. It is also possible that the motives of women who aggress are different than the motives of men who aggress. Since the vast majority of prior work relating power to sexual aggression was conducted with men as subjects, these findings may accurately represent women's motives.

Results emerged from this study that seem counterintuitive and are difficult to explain. Women who used force (N = 31, 6.5% of the sample) scored higher on sexual esteem than all other groups, had the highest mean score on sexual satisfaction (significantly higher than those who used non-physical coercion or did not initiate), and did not differ from the other groups on sexual anxiety. It could be that the kind of social support discussed earlier in conjunction with the non-physical coercion results, whether expressed openly between peers or understood on a more intuitive level, allowed this group of woman to use force strategies without feeling any more anxious about sex than their peers. At the same time they are potentially meeting their sexual needs and other needs by asserting direct control over someone else. This set of circumstances could possibly explain the results, but much further study is required before any conclusions can be drawn.


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Peter B. Anderson, School of Counseling and Social Services Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Anthony P. Kontos, University of New Orleans Cindy Struckman-Johnson University of South Dakota

Address Correspondence to:

Peter B. Anderson, Walden University

155 Fifth Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN 55401
Table 1. A Comparison of MSQ Factors Scores between Subjects
Using One of Four Levels of Sexual Initiation Behaviors.

Sexual Initiation Behavior Level

 None Persuasion
 (n = 31) (n = 240)

MSQ Factors Mean SD Mean SD

Esteem * 15.19 5.47 17.12 4.73
Preoccupation * 8.61 3.97 8.57 3.90
Internal Control 19.06 4.78 19.23 3.86
Consciousness * 19.35 4.78 19.08 3.76
Motivation * 13.61 5.38 13.75 5.16
Anxiety * 10.35 5.51 9.71 3.83
Assertiveness 13.90 3.14 14.21 3.21
Depression 9.03 4.05 8.29 4.12
External Control * 8.06 3.76 7.82 3.36
Monitoring * 9.03 4.06 9.57 3.94
Fear 13.03 2.64 13.39 2.95
Satisfaction * 16.84 6.27 18.81 5.14

 Coercion Force
 (n = 171) (n = 31)

MSQ Factors Mean SD Mean SD

Esteem * 17.52 4.11 20.19 3.64
Preoccupation * 10.01 4.72 12.84 4.72
Internal Control 19.57 3.33 20.58 3.15
Consciousness * 19.51 3.30 21.81 3.07
Motivation * 15.02 5.19 18.61 4.72
Anxiety * 10.97 3.98 9.48 3.34
Assertiveness 14.62 2.69 15.25 3.24
Depression 9.32 4.33 7.90 3.31
External Control * 9.46 4.09 7.74 2.95
Monitoring * 10.84 4.79 10.13 4.29
Fear 13.72 2.83 14.10 2.83
Satisfaction * 17.51 5.69 19.97 5.66

* p < .05 for at least two group means.

Table 2. A Comparison of MSQ Factor Scores Covaried for Age
between Southern Urban and Midwestern Rural Schools.


 Southern Midwestern
 Urban Rural
 (n = 226) (n = 246)

MSQ Factors Mean SE Mean SE

Esteem 17.63 0.31 17.08 0.30
Preoccupation 9.73 0.30 9.06 0.29
Internal Control 19.75 0.25 19.11 0.24
Consciousness * 20.16 0.25 18.74 0.24
Motivation 14.74 0.36 14.36 0.34
Anxiety 10.12 0.27 10.28 0.26
Assertiveness * 14.85 0.21 14.00 0.20
Depression 8.48 0.29 8.89 0.27
External Control * 7.94 0.25 8.88 0.24
Monitoring 9.67 0.29 10.38 0.28
Fear 13.51 0.20 13.52 0.19
Satisfaction 18.67 0.38 18.00 0.36

* p < .05

Table 3. Correlations between Select Predictors and
MSQ Factors.

Predictor Factors

 Age at First
 Age Intercourse

MSQ Factors n r n r

Esteem 502 .17 * 445 -.20 *
Preoccupation 522 -.05 461 -.17 *
Internal Control 514 .08 453 -.08
Consciousness 523 .13 462 -.13 *
Motivation 521 .17 * 461 -.14 *
Anxiety 523 -.21 * 461 -.10 *
Assertiveness 519 .12 * 461 -.12 *
Depression 521 -.06 461 -.11 *
External Control 521 -.10 * 460 -.13 *
Monitoring 525 -.22 * 463 -.12 *
Fear 521 -.07 459 -.03
Satisfaction 507 .06 450 -.03

 # of Sexual Past Sexual
 Partners Abuse

MSQ Factors n r n r

Esteem 485 .30 * 472 .01
Preoccupation 504 .17 * 490 .01
Internal Control 497 .12 * 484 .06
Consciousness 505 .19 * 491 .12 *
Motivation 503 .19 * 489 .10 *
Anxiety 505 -.08 491 -.09
Assertiveness 503 .10 * 487 .05
Depression 503 .01 489 -.06
External Control 503 .10 * 489 .02
Monitoring 507 .07 493 .01
Fear 503 -.15 * 489 -.02
Satisfaction 489 .09 477 .08

* p < .05
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Author:Anderson, Peter B.; Kontos, Anthony P.; Struckman-Johnson, Cindy
Publication:Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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