Resistance to Sexual Assault

Who Resists and What Happens?

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 79, no. 1, Jan. 1989, p. 27-31

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 1988

by Judith M. Siegel, Susan B. Sorenson, Jacqueline M. Golding, M. Audrey Burnam, Judith Stein

Read More

Access further information on this document at www.ajph.org

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

To determine who resists sexual assault and what happens, data were examined from a probability sample of 3,132 adult community residents of Los Angeles, California. Seventy-five per cent of the respondents reporting an assault (n = 365) indicated that they had attempted to resist their most recent assault; talking was the most frequently used resistance strategy. The strongest predictor to emerge in the multivariate analyses of resistance was timing of assault: respondents assaulted only in childhood were less likely to resist than either respondents assaulted only in adulthood, or respondents assaulted in both phases. Univariate analyses indicated that resistance reduced the probability of sexual contact, however multivariate analyses suggested that assailant use of force was the most important determinant of assault outcome.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/principles.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.