رابطه جنسی ناخواسته اما مبنی بر رضایت طرفین در میان بزرگسالان جوان: روابط با انگیزش دلبستگی و جنسی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|30025||2014||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 31, February 2014, Pages 412–418
A wide body of research has examined unwanted but consensual sex in a face-to-face context, focusing on intercourse, petting, kissing, and other sexual activity that people consent to even though they do not want to. Recent research has shown many people engage in sexual interactions via computer-mediated mediums; yet, to date, there are no studies that have investigated whether unwanted but consensual sexual activity exists in these contexts. In this study, we examined the extent to which 93 women and 62 men had consented to unwanted sexting within committed relationships and the attachment characteristics and motivations that are associated with this behavior. Approximately one half of the sample (52.3%) had engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner, and most did so for flirtation, foreplay, to fulfill a partner’s needs, or for intimacy. Among men, neither of the attachment dimensions was related to unwanted but consensual sexting. However, among women, anxious attachment was significantly related to frequency of consenting to unwanted sexting, and consenting to avoid an argument was a mediator in the relationship between anxious attachment and consenting to unwanted sexting. These results are compared to previous work on unwanted but consensual sex, and future directions are discussed.
Computer-mediated communication (e.g., texting and social networking) has become a popular means of interpersonal communication in the United States, especially among teens and young adults (Lenhart, 2012, Lenhart et al., 2010, Madden et al., 2013 and Smith, 2011). Considering its prominent role in interpersonal interactions, it is unsurprising that computer-mediated communication is also a vehicle for sexual interactions, usually in the form of sexually-explicit words, pictures, or videos. Termed ‘sexting,’ this phenomenon has gained the attention of communication and relationship researchers, who have examined the prevalence of sexting among young adults as well as the psychological and relationship characteristics that are associated with this behavior (e.g., Associated Press & MTV, 2009, Drouin and Landgraff, 2012, Drouin et al., 2013, Ferguson, 2011, Gordon-Messer et al., 2012, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008, Weisskirch and Delevi, 2011 and Wysocki and Childers, 2011). Sexting has also been the focus of media reports, usually highlighting legal issues or cases involving minors who have sent or received sexually-explicit images (e.g., Pike, 2010, Pilkington, 2009 and Valenzuela, 2013). One type of sexting that has not had any empirical attention but may have possible legal implications is compliant sexting behavior or unwanted but consensual sexting, which can be defined as willingly engaging in unwanted sexual behavior via sexually explicit text, pictures, or video. Analogous terms already exist for face-to-face sexual behavior, and this topic has been explored for almost two decades in the sexual relationship literature (e.g., Gentzler and Kerns, 2004, Impett and Peplau, 2002, Impett and Peplau, 2003, Muehlenhard and Peterson, 2005, O’Sullivan and Allgeier, 1998, Peterson and Muehlenhard, 2007 and Vannier and O’Sullivan, 2010). As studies have shown that prevalence rates are fairly high for both engaging in unwanted sexual activity (e.g., O’Sullivan and Allgeier, 1998 and Sprecher et al., 1994) and sexting ( Associated Press & MTV, 2009, Drouin and Landgraff, 2012, Drouin et al., 2013, Ferguson, 2011, Gordon-Messer et al., 2012 and National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 2008), it is likely that these compliant sexual behaviors have extended to the virtual world. However, there are also differences between the face-to-face and computer-mediated environments that may make it less or more likely for unwanted sexual activity to occur through computer-mediated communication (CMC). For example, there are risks in the transmission of sexually-explicit material because sexual words and images are sometimes forwarded ( Associated Press & MTV, 2009 and Drouin et al., 2013); therefore, those who do not want to engage in sexting have an added incentive to abstain. Additionally, the CMC environment is more socially constrained than the face-to-face environment ( Guadagno & Cialsini, 2002), so those wishing to engage another in sexual behavior online cannot use nonverbal cues or other types of social or personal cues to persuade their partner to engage. On the other hand, unlike face-to-face sexual activity, CMC sexual activity could be entirely fabricated; therefore, those consenting to unwanted sexting may do so with little commitment or consequence. Considering these differences, it is important to examine the frequency of and motivations for unwanted but consensual sexual activity via CMC environments. Therefore, the goals of this study were to examine the prevalence of unwanted but consensual sexting as well as the motivations for and attachment patterns associated with this behavior. Our study focused on young adults, because this has been the primary sample utilized in past research on the topic, and relatively high rates of sexting and unwanted sexual activity have been found within this age group. 1.1. Unwanted but consensual sexual activity According to Peterson and Muehlenhard (2007), the prevailing model of sexual wanting polarizes sexual activity into two varieties: wanted, consensual sexual activity and unwanted, nonconsensual sexual activity. However, this model confounds two concepts—wantedness and consent—that are actually distinct (Muehlenhard and Peterson, 2005 and Peterson and Muehlenhard, 2007). According to these researchers, people also can and do engage in sexual activity that is nonconsensual but wanted, and more relevant to the current inquiry, sexual activity that is unwanted but consensual. Research into the latter phenomenon has shown that engaging in unwanted sexual activity is fairly common among young adults (O’Sullivan and Allgeier, 1998 and Sprecher et al., 1994). As an example, more than one third of the college students in committed relationships in O’Sullivan and Allgeier’s (1998) sample reported engaging in unwanted yet consensual sex at least once during a two-week time period. Additionally, in Sprecher et al.’s (1994) cross-cultural study, approximately one third to one half of nonvirgins in three different countries reported having engaged in unwanted but consensual sex (Japan, 27%; Russia, 34%; and the U.S. 47%). In terms of gender differences in this behavior, some studies have shown that significantly more women than men engage in unwanted but consensual sexual activity. For example, in O’Sullivan and Allgeier (1998) 50% of women reported engaging in unwanted but consensual sexual activity during the past two weeks as opposed to only 26% of men. Meanwhile, 55% of the American women nonvirgins in Sprecher et al.’s (1994) study reported having ever consented to unwanted sex as opposed to 35% of the American men. Researchers have suggested a number of reasons why women would engage in unwanted but consensual sex more often than men, including sexual passivity, a felt responsibility for relationship maintenance, or perceptions that men’s sexual urges are strong or uncontrollable, which makes refusal futile (Bay-Cheng and Eliseo-Arras, 2008, Impett and Peplau, 2002 and Impett and Peplau, 2003). However, there are also studies which have shown that men are just as likely to engage in unwanted sexual activity. For example, in Muehlenhard and Cook’s (1988) college sample, the prevalence rates for unwanted intercourse or petting for men and women were relatively equivalent, and more men (62.7%) than women (46.3%) reported engaging in unwanted intercourse only. According to Muehlenhard and Cook (1998), their findings can be accounted for by the double standard—men feeling pressure to consent to sex and women feeling pressure to abstain because of societal norms and sex-role expectations. Thus, the findings with regard to gender and frequency of unwanted but consensual sexual activity are somewhat mixed; however, there are strong theoretical arguments supporting each of the findings. 1.2. Attachment style, sex motives, and sexual compliance Although attachment research was originally focused on children and the attachments they make with their caregivers (e.g., Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978), researchers soon became interested in attachment styles within adult relationships (e.g., Bartholomew and Horowitz, 1991, Brennan et al., 1998, Hazan and Shaver, 1987, Mikulincer and Shaver, 2003 and Mikulincer and Shaver, 2007). The prevailing model of adult attachment consists of two dimensions: attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance (Brennan et al., 1998). Within romantic relationships, adults who are high in attachment anxiety have an intense desire to be connected to their partners, and they fear that their partners might abandon them (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). In effort to keep their partners or draw them nearer, they tend to use hyperactivating strategies to keep their interest (Mikulincer and Shaver, 2003 and Mikulincer and Shaver, 2007). Adults high in avoidant attachment, on the other hand, are independent and self-reliant with a fear of becoming too dependent or intimate with even close relationship partners (Hazan & Shaver, 1987). So that they are not relied upon, those high in avoidant attachment use deactivating strategies, in attempt to distance themselves from their partners (Mikulincer and Shaver, 2003 and Mikulincer and Shaver, 2007). A number of researchers have examined the attachment characteristics that are associated with different types of sexual activity in relationships, and a subset of these researchers have focused specifically on sexual compliance. With regard to sexual activity generally, researchers have found that those high in attachment anxiety tend to be motivated towards sex for emotional closeness and intimacy; and those high in attachment avoidance tend to have more casual sex and do not have motivations for emotional closeness or intimacy (Davis et al., 2004 and Schachner and Shaver, 2004). With regard to sexual compliance, researchers have provided evidence that both attachment anxiety and attachment avoidance are positively related to unwanted but consensual sexual activity. Again, gender appears to play a role in these interactions (see Impett & Peplau, 2003, for review). For example, Gentzler and Kerns (2004) found that among women, both anxious and avoidant attachment were related to a greater number of unwanted but consensual sexual experiences; however, among men, only avoidant attachment was related to a greater number of unwanted but consensual sexual experiences. Meanwhile, in Impett and Peplau’s (2002) sample of college women, only anxious attachment was related to consenting to unwanted sex in a hypothetical scenario. The relationship becomes even more complex when one considers the motivations for engaging in unwanted but consensual sex. O’Sullivan and Allgeier (1998) found that people in general consented to unwanted sex to promote intimacy, satisfy their partner‘s needs, and to avoid tension. However, Muehlenhard and Cook (1988) found that men and women cited different motivations for engaging in unwanted sex: women were more likely to consent to unwanted sexual activity out of altruism (e.g., fulfilling partner’s needs) and fears of the relationship ending, whereas men were more likely to consent for popularity or because of peer pressure. This pattern of results suggests that women’s consent to unwanted sex may relate more to attachment or relationship maintenance, and men’s consent may relate more to gender-role expectations. In a study that examined how motivations relate to attachment style among women only, Impett and Peplau (2002) found that those high in anxious attachment were more likely to cite avoiding tension in the relationship and worry that their partners might leave them, whereas those high in avoidance attachment were more likely to consent to unwanted sex because it was just easier or to conform to an already established pattern of sexual activity. Although they examined both motivations and attachment patterns, Impett and Peplau (2002) did not examine whether any of these motivations were mediators between attachment patterns and women’s willingness to engage in unwanted but consensual activity. Instead, they focused on perceived commitment discrepancy as a mediator, which was defined as the difference between their own commitment and their perceived commitment level of their partner (Impett & Peplau, 2002), and found that perceived commitment discrepancy did mediate this relationship. However, it is also possible that these motivations for unwanted sex could be full or partial mediators in the relationship between attachment and engaging in unwanted but consensual sex. 1.3. The current study Unwanted but consensual sex has been studied extensively in the research literature; however, to date, there has been no empirical research examining whether compliant sexual behaviors exist via computer-mediated mediums. In this study, we had three main research questions with regard to this proposed phenomenon. First, we wanted to determine to what extent unwanted but consensual sexting exists within the context of young adult relationships and whether the frequency of this behavior varies by gender. Based on previous research on unwanted sexual activity and sexting, we expected that many young adults will have engaged in this behavior, and that it would be more frequent among women than men. Although some research has shown that men are more or equally likely to engage in unwanted sexual behavior (e.g., Muehlenhard & Cook, 1988), most of the research in this area has shown that American women are more likely to be sexually compliant (O’Sullivan and Allgeier, 1998 and Sprecher et al., 1994). Second, we wanted to examine whether the attachment variables and motivations that are related to consenting in face-to-face unwanted sexual activity (e.g., Impett and Peplau, 2002, Muehlenhard and Cook, 1988 and O’Sullivan and Allgeier, 1998) are also related to unwanted but consensual sexting. As Drouin and Landgraff, 2012 and Weisskirch and Delevi, 2011 found that attachment variables are related to sexting generally, we expected attachment characteristics to also be related to unwanted but consensual sexting. Although the literature on attachment and unwanted but consensual sex presents mixed findings on this issue, both Gentzler and Kerns, 2004 and Impett and Peplau, 2002 found that anxious attachment was related to unwanted but consensual sex among women; therefore, we expected this same relationship in the context of unwanted but consensual sexting. Finally, we wanted to determine whether motivations for engaging in unwanted sexting—specifically, sexting to avoid an argument—would be a mediator in the relationship between attachment patterns and unwanted but consensual sexting. We expected that engaging in unwanted sex to avoid an argument or tension would be a mediator for those with anxious attachment, who have persistent fears about losing their partners, and among women, whose motivations towards unwanted sexual activity appear to be more strongly related to attachment and relationship maintenance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our first research question concerned the extent to which young adults were engaging in unwanted but consensual sexting. Approximately half of those who had ever been in a committed relationship had engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting (48% of men and 55% of women). The frequency of sexting by gender is displayed in Fig. 1. Although women were slightly more likely than men to have ever engaged in this behavior, chi-square analyses showed that the frequencies of engaging in unwanted but consensual sexting were not significantly different for men and women X2 (4, N = 155) = 3.449, p = .486. Full-size image (13 K) Fig. 1. Frequency with which women and men engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting. Figure options Our second research question was whether the attachment and motivation variables associated with unwanted but consensual sex in a face-to-face setting would also be related to unwanted but consensual sex in a virtual setting. We examined these variables separately, first focusing on the relationship between attachment and unwanted but consensual sexting. Because gender appears to play a role in the interactions between attachment and engaging in unwanted but consensual sex, we conducted separate correlation analyses for men and women. Table 1 shows the correlations between attachment and unwanted but consensual sexting for men and women as well as the means and standard deviations for the variables. As shown, among women anxious attachment was significantly related to unwanted but consensual sexting; however, the relationships between the attachment variables and unwanted but consensual sexting among men were weak and non-significant. Table 1. Descriptive statistics for women’s and men’s unwanted but consensual sexting, avoidant attachment, and anxious attachment and correlations between these variables. Variable 1 2 3 1. Unwanted but consensual sexting – .07 −.03 2. Avoidant attachment .19 – .25⁎ 3. Anxious attachment .24⁎ .40⁎⁎ – Women (N = 93) M 2.17 2.67 3.89 SD 1.33 1.33 1.30 Men (N = 62) M 2.13 2.51 3.63 SD 1.35 1.04 1.23 Women’s correlations are displayed below the diagonal. Men’s correlations are displayed above the diagonal. ⁎ p < .05. ⁎⁎ p < .01. Table options Table 2 shows the frequency with which participants had engaged in unwanted but consensual sexting for the listed motivations and the correlations between these motivations and anxious and avoidant attachment. The most frequently-cited motivations were flirtation, foreplay, to foster intimacy, and to fulfill a partner’s needs. Although these were the most frequently-cited motivations for consenting to unwanted sexting, these motivations were not related significantly to anxious or avoidant attachment. However, two of the listed motivations were related to attachment variables; consenting to avoid an argument was significantly related to both anxious and avoidant attachment, and consenting out of loneliness was significantly related to anxious attachment. Table 2. Mean scores for respondents’ motivations for consenting to unwanted sexting and correlations with attachment anxiety and avoidance. Motivation M SD r With anxiety r With avoidance I wanted to be flirtatious 3.15 1.74 .08 .03 I wanted foreplay 3.02 1.84 .03 .00 I wanted to fulfill my partner’s needs 2.77 1.78 .09 .06 I wanted intimacy 2.63 1.70 .06 .06 I was bored 2.34 1.58 .07 .06 I was lonely 2.27 1.52 .18⁎ .09 I was drinking 2.13 1.62 .09 .00 I wanted to be like my friends 1.78 1.26 .08 .07 I wanted to avoid an argument 1.72 1.31 .39⁎⁎ .19⁎ I was taking drugs 1.42 1.09 .09 .02 ⁎ p < .05. ⁎⁎ p < .01. Table options Our next step was to test our mediation model. We expected that unwanted sexting to avoid an argument would be a mediator between anxious attachment and the frequency of unwanted but consensual sexting. We also predicted that this would be significant for women because the frequency with which they engage in unwanted sexual activity appears to be related more to attachment variables, which is indeed what we found in our correlational analyses. Therefore, we examined our mediation model using only women (see Fig. 2). Full-size image (7 K) Fig. 2. Total and direct effects of attachment anxiety on frequency of unwanted but consensual sexting in women. Total effect in parentheses. ∗p < 0.05, ∗∗p < .01. Figure options As per Baron and Kenny (1986), we used a series of linear regression analyses to test our proposed model, with sexting to avoid an argument as a mediator in the relationship between anxious attachment and unwanted but consensual sexting. Step 1 involved examining the predictive relationship between the independent variable (anxious attachment) and the mediator (sexting to avoid an argument). In this analysis, anxious attachment was a significant predictor of sexting to avoid an argument (β = .31, p = .002, R2 = .10). In step 2, we examined the predictive relationship between the independent variable (anxious attachment) and the dependent variable (unwanted but consensual sexting). Anxious attachment was a significant predictor of unwanted but consensual sexting, β = .25, p = .02, R2 = .06. Step 3 examined whether the partial effect of the mediator is significant when both the mediator (sexting to avoid an argument) and independent variable (anxious attachment) are entered simultaneously as predictors of the dependent variable (unwanted but consensual sexting). In this analysis, sexting to avoid an argument was still a predictor of unwanted but consensual sexting (β = .28, p = .02, R2 = .13). The final step involves testing for mediation; mediation is present when the relationship between the independent and dependent variables is reduced when both the independent variable and mediator are entered simultaneously. In this case, the relationship between anxious attachment and unwanted but consensual sexting became non-significant (β = .16, p = .131, R2 = .13). Hence, all of the conditions for mediation were satisfied (see Fig. 2).