Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality, Volume 5, October 23, 2002


From Deviance to Normalcy: Women as Sexual Aggressors

Peter B. Anderson, Ph.D.
Dyan T. Melson, M.Ed.

University of New Orleans

For additional information, contact
Peter B. Anderson, Ph.D.
Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Dept. of Human Performance & Health Promotion
University of New Orleans-Lakefront Campus, HPC Room #109
New Orleans, LA 70148
(504) 280-7061, FAX 280-6018


The traditional gender roles of young women in the United States are changing. According to research reports of the past few decades, women have taken a more commanding role in sexual relationships with men. These new roles have, at times, included behavior identified as sexual aggression. Women's sexual aggression is the focus of this research review. The shift from a deviance label to a normative label is supported by prevalence data combined with what we know about the connection between women's beliefs in male sexual stereotypes and their sexually aggressive behaviors. Discrepancies between men's and women's reports of women's heterosexually aggressive behaviors provide additional confirmation of the prevalence of women's heterosexual aggression and the influence of beliefs in stereotypes. The advent of our realization of women's sexual aggression raises many questions that we can not currently answer, but can lead to new research questions and theories about human sexual aggression.

Go to Paper

Return to Front Page