An Initial Investigation Into a Continuum of Premarital Sexual Pressure

F. S. Christopher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Two hundred seventy-five undergraduate single women were surveyed to investigate whether a continuum of premarital sexual pressure exists. Participants were asked if they were pressured into 21 different sexual behaviors. For each behavior, they responded to forced-choice questions about the stage of dating at which the pressure occurred and the type of pressure most often experienced. Over 50% of the participants reported being pressured into kissing, breast and genital manipulation, and oral contact with their partners’ genitals. Further, participants were likely to be pressured into kissing and some forms of fondling while casually dating; and masturbation, oral genital contact, and intercourse while seriously dating. Guttman analysis supports the existence of a four-step continuum of sexual pressure from persistent physical attempts, to positive statements, to threats of force, to the use of force.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-266
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of Sex Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 1988


  • date rape
  • premarital sex
  • sexual coercion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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