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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Unformatted Document Text:  A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression Page 15 of 23 have strengthened the entire model since it exhibits more degrees of freedom. If there is no significant cost for incorporating general hostility in the model, then its inclusion is clearly outweighed by the benefit of offering a more complete framework for further analyses of the mechanisms that bind these factors. The overall merit of the revised General Hostility construct, as composed of the Empathy, Irritability and Negative Masculinity items, was supported by the significant direct contribution to the Hostile Masculinity term. Furthermore, removing each of the Empathy, Irritability and Negative Masculinity items significantly reduced the efficacy of the entire model. The direct effect on Hostile Masculinity, and the indirect effect on sexual aggression were also significantly reduced by these deletions. The reductions occurred in proportion to the beta-weights of each term. While Negative Masculinity, the strongest contributor to General Hostility, affected the construct and model most adversely when deleted, Empathy and Irritability reduced the power of the construct to a lesser extent when removed. Negative Masculinity correlated significantly with Irritability and Empathic Concern; however, Empathic Concern and Irritability were not significantly correlated. In addition, Negative Masculinity accounted for the majority of the shared variance of the “General Hostility” construct. This evidence supports the hypothesis that this conceptualization of an arrogant/callous personality is an antecedent of attitudes more specific to sexual aggression, and perhaps related to nonsexual forms of aggression, as previous research has highlighted. Furthermore, the Hostile Masculinity construct functioned as predicted without the inclusion of Negative Masculinity items. The aim of the present research is not to eradicate the Negative Masculinity item from the Hostile Masculinity construct; rather, the present study aims to illuminate the importance of conceptualizing these traits in a hierarchical-mediational framework that can apply to sexual aggression as it occurs in the criminal and non-criminal populations. Though Negative Masculinity has been closely associated with a specific form of hostility in non-criminal research, this concept has also been associated with a wider range of antisocial behaviors in criminal research. The heavy loading of this item on the General Hostility construct and its relative strength in preceding or predicting hostility towards women, may explain why this personality conceptualization has been so important in both lines of criminal and non-criminal sexual aggression research. Based on the present findings, the conceptualization of a grandiose, arrogant, self-centered personality is probably more likely to indicate a general hostile disposition than hostility specifically directed towards women; however, this hypothesis would require more direct testing. In the present sample, empathy did not yield moderator effects as tested using ANOVA, (see Appendix). Since these are null findings, the present study does not necessarily contradict previous findings, but does find support for an alternative role that empathy may play in the etiology of sexual aggression. The present study proposes that empathy is related to a broader hostile disposition that precedes and facilitates the development of hostility specifically directed towards women. The hypothesis that empathy is related to a general hostility personality construct was supported by the strong direct effect that empathic concern had on general hostility. It is also worthwhile to note, in reference to the dispersion between the two lines of criminal and non-criminal sexual aggression research, that although the present findings have demonstrated how general hostility indirectly and significantly affects

Authors: vega, vanessa. and Malamuth, Neil.
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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Page 15 of 23
have strengthened the entire model since it exhibits more degrees of freedom. If there is
no significant cost for incorporating general hostility in the model, then its inclusion is
clearly outweighed by the benefit of offering a more complete framework for further
analyses of the mechanisms that bind these factors.
The overall merit of the revised General Hostility construct, as composed of the
Empathy, Irritability and Negative Masculinity items, was supported by the significant
direct contribution to the Hostile Masculinity term. Furthermore, removing each of the
Empathy, Irritability and Negative Masculinity items significantly reduced the efficacy of
the entire model. The direct effect on Hostile Masculinity, and the indirect effect on
sexual aggression were also significantly reduced by these deletions. The reductions
occurred in proportion to the beta-weights of each term. While Negative Masculinity, the
strongest contributor to General Hostility, affected the construct and model most
adversely when deleted, Empathy and Irritability reduced the power of the construct to a
lesser extent when removed.
Negative Masculinity correlated significantly with Irritability and Empathic
Concern; however, Empathic Concern and Irritability were not significantly correlated.
In addition, Negative Masculinity accounted for the majority of the shared variance of the
“General Hostility” construct. This evidence supports the hypothesis that this
conceptualization of an arrogant/callous personality is an antecedent of attitudes more
specific to sexual aggression, and perhaps related to nonsexual forms of aggression, as
previous research has highlighted. Furthermore, the Hostile Masculinity construct
functioned as predicted without the inclusion of Negative Masculinity items. The aim of
the present research is not to eradicate the Negative Masculinity item from the Hostile
Masculinity construct; rather, the present study aims to illuminate the importance of
conceptualizing these traits in a hierarchical-mediational framework that can apply to
sexual aggression as it occurs in the criminal and non-criminal populations. Though
Negative Masculinity has been closely associated with a specific form of hostility in non-
criminal research, this concept has also been associated with a wider range of antisocial
behaviors in criminal research. The heavy loading of this item on the General Hostility
construct and its relative strength in preceding or predicting hostility towards women,
may explain why this personality conceptualization has been so important in both lines of
criminal and non-criminal sexual aggression research. Based on the present findings, the
conceptualization of a grandiose, arrogant, self-centered personality is probably more
likely to indicate a general hostile disposition than hostility specifically directed towards
women; however, this hypothesis would require more direct testing.
In the present sample, empathy did not yield moderator effects as tested using
ANOVA, (see Appendix). Since these are null findings, the present study does not
necessarily contradict previous findings, but does find support for an alternative role that
empathy may play in the etiology of sexual aggression. The present study proposes that
empathy is related to a broader hostile disposition that precedes and facilitates the
development of hostility specifically directed towards women. The hypothesis that
empathy is related to a general hostility personality construct was supported by the strong
direct effect that empathic concern had on general hostility.
It is also worthwhile to note, in reference to the dispersion between the two lines
of criminal and non-criminal sexual aggression research, that although the present
findings have demonstrated how general hostility indirectly and significantly affects


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