Department of Psychology Faculty Publications

Highly cited articles published by faculty in the Department of Psychology.


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Now showing 1 - 5 of 22
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    What Happens When People Refuse to go along with Orgasm Coercion? An Assessment of Refusal Strategies, Perpetrators' Subsequent Reactions, and Relationship and Psychological Outcomes
    (Taylor & Francis, 2022-03-30) Chadwick, Sara B.; van Anders, Sari
    Orgasm coercion occurs when someone pressures a partner to orgasm by implying that not orgasming will have negative consequences. But what happens when the coerced partner refuses to go along with orgasm coercion? And how do perpetrators of orgasm coercion react? In the current study, we analysed 100 participants’ (cisgender women, n = 66; cisgender men, n = 24; gender/sex minorities, n = 10) descriptions of refusing orgasm coercion during their most recent orgasm coercion encounter. We assessed how participants expressed refusals, perpetrators reacted to these refusals, and perpetrator reactions connected to relationship and psychological outcomes. Results showed that participants used a variety of refusal strategies that were positively- or negatively-valenced. Some perpetrators (31%) reacted in positive, understanding ways. However, most perpetrators (61%) reacted negatively or with more coercion when confronted. Of note, results suggested that whether perpetrators responded in positive vs. negative ways did not depend on participants’ refusal strategies. We also found that positive perpetrator reactions were associated with positive relationship outcomes, but participants reported high negative psychological outcomes regardless of perpetrators’ reactions. Findings support that perpetrators of orgasm coercion are not necessarily invested in partners’ positive experiences and that orgasm coercion cannot be resolved through better communication.
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    Coercive Sexual Experiences That Include Orgasm Predict Negative Psychological, Relationship, and Sexual Outcomes
    (Sage Publishing, 2022-02-16) Chadwick, Sara B.; Grower, Petal; van Anders, Sari
    Psychological sexual coercion is known to negatively impact those who experience it, yet sexual encounters where orgasm is present are often presumed to be positive and absent of coercion. In the present study, we conducted an online survey with women (n = 179) and men (n = 251) to test associations between sexually coercive experiences that include orgasm and negative psychological, sexual, and relationship outcomes. To do so, we focused on three experiences: having an orgasm during coerced sex (CS), having a coerced orgasm during desired sex (CO), and having a coerced orgasm during coerced sex (COS). Using structural equation modeling, we found that ever having any of these coercion-plus-orgasm experiences with a current partner predicted significantly higher avoidance motivations (i.e., engaging in sex to avoid conflict with one’s partner), which in turn predicted significantly worse psychological distress, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual functioning (but not dyadic sexual desire). We also found that CS, CO, and COS predicted negative outcomes to a similar degree. However, testing gender/sex as a moderator clarified that CS predicted significantly lower sexual satisfaction, sexual functioning, and sexual desire for women but not men. Furthermore, CO predicted faking orgasms in women, but COS predicted faking orgasms in men. Together, results demonstrate that experiencing psychological sexual coercion and/or orgasm coercion is significantly associated with negative outcomes even if the coerced person’s orgasm occurs.
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    Orgasm Coercion and Negative Relationship and Psychological Outcomes: The Role of Gender, Sexual Identity, Perpetration Tactics, and Perceptions of the Perpetrator’s Intentions
    (Springer Nature, 2022-01-13) Chadwick, Sara B.; van Anders, Sari
    Orgasm coercion involves pressuring a partner to orgasm by implying that not orgasming will have negative consequences. In the present study, we used mixed methods to explore (1) how various individual and contextual factors—i.e., frequency of orgasm coercion, orgasm frequency, gender/sex, sexual identity, the orgasm coercion tactics used, and perceptions of the perpetrator’s intention—affect relationship and psychological outcomes associated with orgasm coercion, and (2) how different individuals characterize these outcomes. Cisgender women, cisgender men, and gender/sex minority participants (N = 308, M age = 30.44 years, SD = 8.16) described the most recent encounter in which they experienced orgasm coercion and then rated and described the positive and negative relationship and psychological outcomes associated with the incident. Quantitative results showed that the following predicted significantly higher negative relationship and psychological outcomes: a higher frequency of experiencing orgasm coercion, lower frequency of orgasming with partners in general, and experiencing orgasm coercion via physical or emotional threats. Believing that the perpetrator was motivated by altruism or social pressures mitigated these effects. And, experiencing orgasm coercion via implied fault predicted significantly higher negative relationship outcomes only for cisgender women. Additionally, being a sexual minority predicted higher negative relationship (but not psychological) outcomes, whereas being a gender/sex minority predicted higher negative psychological (but not relationship) outcomes. Qualitative results showed that relationship and psychological outcomes varied; for example, participants discussed making a partner happy, disappointment with their partner’s behaviors, ending the relationship, and lasting feelings of anxiety, guilt, and abuse. Together, findings offer new insights into how orgasm coercion affects those who experience it.
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    Hormone Therapy and Trans Sexuality: A Review
    (American Psychological Association, 2022-06-09) Burns, Jason; Beischel, Will; van Anders, Sari
    Hormone therapy (HT) is one of the most commonly used transition-related medical interventions for trans people. While there is much research on the impacts of HT, the literature related to sexuality is scattered across disciplines, leaving researchers, clinicians, and trans people themselves with little systematic guidance about expected changes to sexuality. In this article, we first delineate the limitations of the extant research on associations between HT and sexuality. We then synthesize this research, focusing on several key aspects of sexuality: physical changes, sexual desire, contributors to sexual satisfaction and sexual distress, experiences of sexual orientation or identity, and sexual behaviors. We find that the most well-established changes associated with HT are initial changes to libido and increased sexual satisfaction, likely through increased body satisfaction. We outline areas for future research and conclude that, though HT is a medical process, to fully understand the impacts of HT, research must incorporate a sociocultural lens.
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    Translating Knowledge of Sexual Configurations Theory via Instructional Videos
    (Springer Nature, 2020-11-11) Beischel, Will; Schudson, Zach; Hoskin, Rhea; Mao, Jane; Zielinski, Alexa; van Anders, Sari
    Gender/sex and sexual diversity are increasingly understood by the public as complex. But, scientific frameworks that address the complexity of gender/sex and sexual diversity are few and not well situated for the public. Sexual configurations theory (SCT; van Anders, 2015) is one approach that provides a visual framework for understanding and measuring gender/sex and sexual diversity. But how might knowledge users and creators actually use it? To make SCT more accessible to researchers, educators, clinicians, and the general public, we created three instructional videos (individual gender/sex, gender/sex sexuality, and partner number sexuality) that explained SCT and demonstrated how to use its diagrams. Participants (N = 242) of diverse gender/sex and sexual identities, including professionals who work in gender/sex- and sexuality-related fields, watched one of the three videos, filled out the diagrams, and evaluated the video and diagrams via scaled and open-ended questions. Results demonstrated that the SCT videos were sufficient for most participants to fill out the diagrams. Participants evaluated the video generally positively, with some variation by condition, identity group, and professional status. These results indicate that instructional videos are able to translate SCT, potentially facilitating uptake of SCT by clinicians, researchers, and educators as well as increasing awareness of gender/sex and sexual diversity more broadly within the public.