Male definitions of sexual assault: The role of the perpetrator's gender

Rachel Lev-Wiesel, Avi Besser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this study was to examine men's perceptions of sexual assault acts according to the perpetrators gender. One hundred male university students were administered a self-report questionnaire consisting of 28 items (14 pairs in relation to each perpetrator's gender); each item was a description of either a sexual assault act or a culturally acceptable normative behavior. Participants were asked to rate the extent to which they perceive and define each act as a sexual assault. Results indicated that the gender of the perpetrator was a significant factor in whether the act was considered a sexual assault or not. Paired sample t tests revealed that when the perpetrator of an act was male, the act was significantly more likely to be considered an assault than when the perpetrator was female. However, in relation to culturally acceptable normative behaviors, no differences were found according to gender. Findings were discussed in the context of men's masculinity and sexual identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-50
Number of pages5
JournalIndividual Differences Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Biological Psychiatry


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