Rape Context and Resistance

Jody Clay-Warner, University of Georgia
Dawn Gregory, University of Georgia

Most research finds that physical defense strategies are most effective for avoiding rape and that physical self-defense does not increase risk of injury. Few studies have explored, however, what contextual factors may affect a woman's decision to resist, as well as her choice of self-defense strategies. Using data from the National Crime Victimization Survey we conduct a discriminant function analysis to determine what situational and demographic factors are related to physical, forceful verbal, and non-forceful verbal resistance. We argue that situational factors are strong predictors of a woman's choice of resistance strategy and urge rape prevention programs to recognize the effects of situational variables on women's resistance.

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Updated 05/20/2006