The Impact of Sexual Victimization on Personality: A Longitudinal Study of Gendered Attributes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jacquelyn W. White, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Little is known about how sexual victimization may affect a woman’s self-reported personality ratings. In the present study endorsement ratings of gendered attributes, as measured by the Extended Personal Attributes Questionnaire, were examined over a 3-year span using multiple group latent growth modeling. Differences in the endorsement of gendered attributes between college female non-victims (N?=?158) and victims (N?=? 158) of sexual aggression were tested. Whereas endorsement of communal and positive agentic attributes were stable across time, victims remained consistently less traditionally feminine (i.e., positively communal and nurturing) than non-victims. Victims also appeared to become relatively more self-focused (i.e., negative masculinity) across time than non-victims. This pattern suggests that sexual victimization may have lasting effects on victims’ ability to focus on the nurturing, trusting aspects of relationships; rather they have a preoccupation with their own needs and goals that appears to strengthen with time. Such a pattern sheds insight into how self-processes may contribute to the relationship difficulties often observed in sexual assault victims. Implications of these results for both personality and sexual aggression researchers are discussed.

Additional Information

Sex Roles, 56, 403-414
Language: English
Date: 2007
sexual victimization, personality traits, gendered attributes, EPAQ, latent growth modeling

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