Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Unwanted sexual experiences: Exploring conservative socialization as an important contextual factor

Presenter Information

Analise BarkerFollow

Class

Article

Department

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Renee Galliher

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Gendered socialization in the US is largely developed within a patriarchal culture which perpetuates sexual violence against women (Murnen, Wright, & Kaluzny, 2001). Also developed within this context is sexual education. The patriarchal influence comes from different levels of institutions: including religion, school, and family. Within these settings youth are taught gender ideologies which structure what is and is not appropriate for a feminine female and a masculine male in any context - including sexual behaviors. The United States has been cited to have the highest rape rate of industrialized countries (Jozkowski & Peterson, 2013; Murnen, Wright, & Kaluzny, 2007). Most anti-sexual violence education centers on teaching women to just say no. This leaves women always waiting to experience sexual violence and to resist it (Carmody, 2005). College women are at the highest risk for sexual assault. This statement is based on reports to police; however, a large majority of sexual assaults/rapes are never reported (Orchowski & Gidycz, 2012). Many studies show strong relationships between religious beliefs/attitudes and sexual behavior/attitudes (e.g., Luquis, Brelsford, & Rojas-Guyler, 2012). It has also been shown that strong spiritual/religious beliefs exert social control over individuals, which use guilt and shame to keep them from participating in sexually permissive activities (Brelsford, Luquis, & Murray-Swank, 2011). Highly religious people are more likely to delay sexual activity, but more likely to not use safe sex practices. This study seeks to fill a gap in the literature by exploring cultural and socialization experiences linked to vulnerability to and reaction to unwanted sexual experiences, using two separate samples and methods. College student men and women first described their sexuality education and their sources of knowledge about sexuality. Subsequently, we asked young women who have had unwanted sexual experiences to discuss their sexual socialization and vulnerability to assault in their own voices.

Start Date

4-9-2015 12:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Unwanted sexual experiences: Exploring conservative socialization as an important contextual factor

Gendered socialization in the US is largely developed within a patriarchal culture which perpetuates sexual violence against women (Murnen, Wright, & Kaluzny, 2001). Also developed within this context is sexual education. The patriarchal influence comes from different levels of institutions: including religion, school, and family. Within these settings youth are taught gender ideologies which structure what is and is not appropriate for a feminine female and a masculine male in any context - including sexual behaviors. The United States has been cited to have the highest rape rate of industrialized countries (Jozkowski & Peterson, 2013; Murnen, Wright, & Kaluzny, 2007). Most anti-sexual violence education centers on teaching women to just say no. This leaves women always waiting to experience sexual violence and to resist it (Carmody, 2005). College women are at the highest risk for sexual assault. This statement is based on reports to police; however, a large majority of sexual assaults/rapes are never reported (Orchowski & Gidycz, 2012). Many studies show strong relationships between religious beliefs/attitudes and sexual behavior/attitudes (e.g., Luquis, Brelsford, & Rojas-Guyler, 2012). It has also been shown that strong spiritual/religious beliefs exert social control over individuals, which use guilt and shame to keep them from participating in sexually permissive activities (Brelsford, Luquis, & Murray-Swank, 2011). Highly religious people are more likely to delay sexual activity, but more likely to not use safe sex practices. This study seeks to fill a gap in the literature by exploring cultural and socialization experiences linked to vulnerability to and reaction to unwanted sexual experiences, using two separate samples and methods. College student men and women first described their sexuality education and their sources of knowledge about sexuality. Subsequently, we asked young women who have had unwanted sexual experiences to discuss their sexual socialization and vulnerability to assault in their own voices.