Gendering Sex and Sexual Violence

I never teach my courses on gender and sexuality without this table:

The table comes from Ed Laumann and colleague’s book, The Social Organization of Sexuality (1994).  There’s a variety of fascinating information throughout the text which aims to explore one of the first nationally representative surveys dealing with sexual identities, behaviors, and more.  This table in particular comes from the portion of the text where they describe their findings relative to coercive sex.

When I show this table in classes, I ask the students to tell me what they see.  The first thing students typically mention is the relatively high proportion of men who state that they have never been forced to do something sexual (96.1%).  Others point out the lower proportion of women (77.4%) who say that they have never been sexually forced.  Someone usually says something about this coming close to the “1-in-4” estimate that has become so popular.

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