What Is Nonconsensual Sex? Young Women Identify Sources of Coerced Sex

Bryana H. French, Helen A. Neville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Extending the American Psychological Association (APA) report on the Sexualization of Girls, this study investigated how young women identified sources of coerced sex. Findings from three focus groups with 25 Black and White adolescent women uncovered a perceived overarching force that “pushed” them to have sex before they felt ready. Participants identified four domains of coerced sex: (a) Sociocultural Context, (b) Internalized Sexual Scripts, (c) Partner Manipulation of Sexual Scripts, and (d) Developmental Status. Coerced sex was a complex system consisting of cultural, peer, and internal messages that create pressures to engage in sexual activities. Future implications for research and practice are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-394
Number of pages27
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • girls
  • sexual coercion
  • sexual scripts
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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