Are the predictors of sexual violence the same as those of nonsexual violence? A gender analysis

J Sex Med. 2009 Aug;6(8):2215-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01338.x. Epub 2009 Jun 2.


Introduction: Violence manifests itself in such multifarious ways as sexual, physical, and psychological abuse. What has hitherto eluded the medical community, however, is whether sexual and nonsexual abuse share the same predictors.

Aim: Drawing upon a representative sample of married men and women in the Iranian capital, Tehran, we aimed to determine: (i) the overlap between sexual abuse and physical and psychological violence, and (ii) the predictors that sexual violence victimization share with physical and psychological violence victimization.

Main outcome measures: Victimization through any type of sexual coercion by the husband in the context of the current marital relationship, as determined via the conflict tactic scales-revised (CTS-2).

Methods: In a cross-sectional survey in Tehran in 2007, 460 married Iranian men and women were selected via a multicluster sampling method from four different randomized regions. Independent variables comprised sociodemographic characteristics, subscores of psychological, and personality characteristics known to be allied with intimate abuse (personal and relationship profile), and dichotomus data on victimization history through all types of violence by the spouse including psychological aggression, physical assault, and sexual coercion (CTS-2).

Results: In both genders, the experience of physical or psychological violence increased the likelihood of sexual violence victimization. In both genders, higher conflict was a predictor of sexual and psychological violence victimization. In addition, the common predictors of sexual and physical violence victimization were low self-control and high violent socialization in the men and women, respectively.

Conclusions: Sexual violence victimization shares some factors with the victimization of nonsexual types of marital abuse, but this seems to be partially gender dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Crime Victims / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Sex Offenses / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexuality*
  • Spouse Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data