Gender Differences in the Enactment of Sociosexuality: An Examination of Implicit Social Motives, Sexual Fantasies, Coercive Sexual Attitudes, and Aggressive Sexual Behavior

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The Journal of Sex Research


An unrestricted sociosexual orientation (the endorsement of casual sex) has been found to correlate with undesirable behaviors and personality characteristics more so in men than in women. Using a community sample of men and women, we investigated the correlations between sociosexuality and behaviors, motives, attitudes, and fantasies related to sexual aggression. Participants (n = 168; ages 21–45) completed self‐report measures of sociosexual orientation, sexual conservatism, rape myth acceptance, adversarial sexual beliefs, attitudes toward women, sexual behaviors, and perpetration of sexual aggression. Participants also wrote five brief stories that were scored for power and affiliation‐intimacy motives and two sexual fantasies that were coded for the theme of dominance. For both men and women, an unrestricted sociosexual orientation was correlated with behavioral items indicating earlier life experiences with sex, a greater number of lifetime sex partners, and more frequent sexual activity. For men, an unrestricted sociosexual orientation was linked with higher levels of rape myth acceptance and adversarial sexual beliefs; more conservative attitudes toward women; higher levels of power motivation and lower levels of affiliation‐intimacy motivation; and past use of sexual aggression. For women, an unrestricted sociosexual orientation was associated with sexual fantasies of dominance and lower levels of sexual conservatism.


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