Gender differences and the perceptions of sexual abuse

Cynthia M. Wirth (2003)

This experimental quantitative study investigated whether, as hypothesized, college subjects are more likely to evaluate descriptions of ambiguous and non-ambiguous acts of sexual behavior as abuse if the perpetrator were male rather than female. The results partially supported this hypothesis, especially when the descriptions were more ambiguous or covert. In addition, by and large, female subjects were more likely to perceive descriptions as abusive and to judge the effects as being more harmful than their male counterparts. Both of these findings were at the level of statistical significance. The clinical implications of this study were explored.