Associations of Attachment Anxiety and Avoidance With Male- and Female-Perpetrated Sexual Coercion in Romantic Relationships


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Abstract

Few studies have investigated the associations between romantic attachment dimensions and sexual coercion perpetration. The present study aimed to address methodological limitations in previous studies, and to more accurately identify the associations between romantic attachment and sexual coercion perpetration in romantic relationships. Data from 284 individuals (56% men) were secured via an online self-report survey. Participants completed assessments of romantic attachment to their current romantic partner, and reported the frequency with which they perpetrated 34 acts of sexual coercion against their romantic partner. Attachment anxiety was a positive predictor of sexual coercion perpetration for men and women. Additionally, for men only, the association between attachment anxiety and sexual coercion perpetration was stronger for individuals with greater attachment avoidance. The results of the study present a clearer picture of the associations between attachment and sexual coercion, and accord with modern theoretical perspectives positing that romantic attachment regulates reactions to acute and ongoing relationship threats.

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