Predictors of Sexual Harassment and Coercion Victimization Among College Students: The Role of Gender, Child Abuse, Alcohol Expectancy, and Victim-Perpetration Link

Kim Menard, The Pennsylvania State University

Research on sexual victimization consistently finds that childhood abuse (Koss & Dinero, 1989; Messman & Long, 1996) and alcohol consumption (Schwartz & Pitts, 1995) increase the risk of victimization. The present study investigated risk factors in the prediction of sexual harassment and coercion victimization among 426 college students. Results based on hierarchical linear and logistic regression indicate that sexual harassment victimization is predicted by gender, childhood abuse, alcohol expectancy and sexual harassment. That is, females, with a history of child sexual abuse and neglect, who themselves harass others are more likely to be the victims of sexual harassment. Moreover, the latter relationship is mediated by alcohol expectancy. Sexual coercion victimization is predicted by gender, childhood neglect, alcohol expectancy and sexual coercion. That is, females with a history of childhood neglect, high scores on alcohol expectancy and who themselves are coercive are more likely to be victimized. In addition, there was a significant gender by childhood neglect interaction with neglected females more likely to be victimized. The role of childhood abuse on the victim-perpetrator link will be explored.

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Updated 05/20/2006