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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Unformatted Document Text:  A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression Page 16 of 23 sexual aggression, hierarchical regression analyses allows the construct variable to “drop out” as non-significant. Thus, general personality factors, which were originally the central focus of early sexual aggression research in the non-criminal population, may have been largely neglected based on misleading statistical results. The present study also seeks to suggest the importance of structural equation modeling in its ability to represent hierarchical relationships and path analyses of causal factors. There are important limitations with the present study. The IS scores were characterized by low reliability estimates in Malamuth et al.’s 1995 study, (alpha coefficient of 0.33), and evidenced weak results in the Regression 1. Despite these low reliability estimates, the IS construct has been a significant predictor of sexual aggression in prior research, (Kanin, 1984; Sarwer, Kalichman, Johnson, Early, & Ali, 1993; Malamuth et al., 1991, 1995), and was retained in the structural equation model. It is notable that the presence of Impersonal Sexuality did not debilitate the model, for when it was removed, statistical tests did not indicate marked improvement. The Impersonal Sexuality construct could probably be improved by adding items to the existing measure. Based on the evolutionary perspective that harsh early environments increase the likelihood of a promiscuous/impersonal sex orientation, the construct may be strengthened by including measures indicative of “harsh” familial stressors such as marital discord, rejection and violent/abusive parenting. Perhaps these more general factors, circumstances that can breed a wide array of other anti-social behaviors, underlie the manifestation of promiscuous sex patterns indicated by the PCL-R scale. In this manner, a general construct of harsh early environmental stimuli that reinforce a high-quantity, low-quality sexual reproductive strategy might precede Impersonal Sexuality. With respect to more specific factors that may improve this construct, the correlation between IS and Sexually Explicit Media might warrant further investigation into whether consumption of sexually explicit media is a manifestation of an impersonal orientation to sex and/or heightened sex drive. An additional limitation of this and most studies of sexual aggression among the non-criminal population is our necessary reliance on self-report data. However, given the assumption that participants are unlikely to falsely admit to socially undesirable attitudes and behaviors, we can hypothesize that the results obtained in this study are at least conservative estimates of the prevalence of sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors in this sample. If the survey questions do in fact overtly reveal the motivations behind the measures, then reporter-bias may become extremely problematic when applying this model to the criminal population for purposes of risk-assessment. Criminals seeking release have a much larger stake in getting parole than answering the survey honestly. Implications for future research may also include further enquiry into the mechanism that relates empathy to Hostile Masculinity. If Hostile Masculinity is related to the degree to which men view themselves as fundamentally different from members of “the opposite sex,” then perhaps this is one way in which empathy preceding such attitudes could facilitate sexual aggression. Perceived similarity to self has reliably been shown to cause people to value another person’s welfare when the other person is in need (Balston, Turk, Shaw & Klein 1995). Although the converse is not necessarily true, perceived dissimilarity may facilitate sexually aggressive behavior, and/or the development of the non-empathetic attitudes associated with the HM construct. Thus, further research may wish to examine the role that perceived dissimilarity plays in regard

Authors: vega, vanessa. and Malamuth, Neil.
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A Mediational-Hierarchical Model of Sexual Aggression
Page 16 of 23
sexual aggression, hierarchical regression analyses allows the construct variable to “drop
out” as non-significant. Thus, general personality factors, which were originally the
central focus of early sexual aggression research in the non-criminal population, may
have been largely neglected based on misleading statistical results. The present study
also seeks to suggest the importance of structural equation modeling in its ability to
represent hierarchical relationships and path analyses of causal factors.
There are important limitations with the present study. The IS scores were
characterized by low reliability estimates in Malamuth et al.’s 1995 study, (alpha
coefficient of 0.33), and evidenced weak results in the Regression 1. Despite these low
reliability estimates, the IS construct has been a significant predictor of sexual aggression
in prior research, (Kanin, 1984; Sarwer, Kalichman, Johnson, Early, & Ali, 1993;
Malamuth et al., 1991, 1995), and was retained in the structural equation model. It is
notable that the presence of Impersonal Sexuality did not debilitate the model, for when it
was removed, statistical tests did not indicate marked improvement.
The Impersonal Sexuality construct could probably be improved by adding items
to the existing measure. Based on the evolutionary perspective that harsh early
environments increase the likelihood of a promiscuous/impersonal sex orientation, the
construct may be strengthened by including measures indicative of “harsh” familial
stressors such as marital discord, rejection and violent/abusive parenting. Perhaps these
more general factors, circumstances that can breed a wide array of other anti-social
behaviors, underlie the manifestation of promiscuous sex patterns indicated by the PCL-R
scale. In this manner, a general construct of harsh early environmental stimuli that
reinforce a high-quantity, low-quality sexual reproductive strategy might precede
Impersonal Sexuality. With respect to more specific factors that may improve this
construct, the correlation between IS and Sexually Explicit Media might warrant further
investigation into whether consumption of sexually explicit media is a manifestation of
an impersonal orientation to sex and/or heightened sex drive.
An additional limitation of this and most studies of sexual aggression among the
non-criminal population is our necessary reliance on self-report data. However, given the
assumption that participants are unlikely to falsely admit to socially undesirable attitudes
and behaviors, we can hypothesize that the results obtained in this study are at least
conservative estimates of the prevalence of sexually aggressive attitudes and behaviors in
this sample. If the survey questions do in fact overtly reveal the motivations behind the
measures, then reporter-bias may become extremely problematic when applying this
model to the criminal population for purposes of risk-assessment. Criminals seeking
release have a much larger stake in getting parole than answering the survey honestly.
Implications for future research may also include further enquiry into the
mechanism that relates empathy to Hostile Masculinity. If Hostile Masculinity is related
to the degree to which men view themselves as fundamentally different from members of
“the opposite sex,” then perhaps this is one way in which empathy preceding such
attitudes could facilitate sexual aggression. Perceived similarity to self has reliably been
shown to cause people to value another person’s welfare when the other person is in need
(Balston, Turk, Shaw & Klein 1995). Although the converse is not necessarily true,
perceived dissimilarity may facilitate sexually aggressive behavior, and/or the
development of the non-empathetic attitudes associated with the HM construct. Thus,
further research may wish to examine the role that perceived dissimilarity plays in regard


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