Sexual violence occurs when an individual obtains sexual interaction through coercion, intimidation, blackmail, lesions or threats of physical harm. It ranges from slight approaches to rape, and involves some kind of persuasion to obtaining unwanted sexual interactions; it happens more often in dating relationships. The aim of this paper is to measure the association of sexual attitudes and the acceptance of rape myths with sexual coercion in a sample of college students, and compare these variables by sex and age. The sample was non-probabilistic and included 630 students (51% had experiences of sexual coercion); 71% of men reported practicing sexual coercion. Women who practiced sexual coercion had a less traditional sexual attitude than men (F= 21.413, p<.001), and women who faced sexual coercion had a more permissive attitude in sexual interactions (F=37.432, p<.001). Men who faced sexual coercion blamed rape victims more than women (F=10.603, p=.001). Younger men also blamed rape victims more than the older ones (F=9.841, p=.002). When women use sexual coercion it seems to have a paradoxical implication regarding their gender role. It also appears to be a problem for negotiating safe sexual encounters; women who reported more sexual permissiveness seem to participate more frequently in unplanned sexual interactions and they may be more vulnerable to coercion. It is necessary to modify beliefs about abusive sexual behaviors being normal in dating relationships.
La violencia sexual es el logro de actos sexuales mediante coerción, intimidación, chantaje, lesiones o amenazas de daño físico y varía desde acercamientos hasta la violación. Involucra algún tipo de persuasión para que se den intercambios sexuales no consensuados y acontece con mayor frecuencia en relaciones de cortejo, noviazgo o románticas. El objetivo de este trabajo es medir la asociación entre las actitudes sexuales y la aceptación de los mitos de violación con la coerción sexual en una muestra de jóvenes universitarios y hacer una comparación por sexo y grupos de edad. La muestra del estudio fue no aleatoria e incluyó a 630 estudiantes universitarios. El 51% de la muestra reportó experiencias de coerción sexual; los hombres la ejercieron casi tres veces más (71.1%) que las mujeres (28.9%). Las mujeres que ejercieron coerción reportaron una actitud sexual menos tradicional que los hombres (F= 21.413, p<.001) y las que la sufrieron aceptaron más la permisividad (F=37.432, p<.001). Los hombres que sufrieron coerción culpabilizaron más a las víctimas de violación que las mujeres (F=10.603, p=.001); esto mismo se observó en el grupo de 17-20 años de edad (F=9.841, p=.002). El ejercicio de coerción por parte de las mujeres tiene un carácter paradójico en cuanto al rol de género. En los sujetos existe una dificultad para negociar un encuentro sexual seguro o consensuado; las mujeres que reportaron mayor permisibilidad sexual mostraron una mayor propensión a involucrarse en relaciones sexuales no planificadas y ser más vulnerables a la coerción. Es importante hacer esfuerzos para erradicar las creencias que sostienen que los comportamientos sexuales abusivos en las relaciones erótico-afectivas son normales o naturales.
Violence is a problem gone through by people in one way or another because of the great amount of manifestations in which it is presented. Sexual violence constitutes one of those ways. At the present time, sexual violence is considered a high-priority problem of public health and of human rights; this type of violence is presented in a continuum that goes from groping to forced sexual relationships. Most of the people associate sexual violence with its extreme form which is rape, but, what does it happen with that type of violence where subtlety or persuasions are involved in order to obtain a sexual relationship? This kind of violence is denominated sexual coercion, and it is defined as the use of any type of physical or emotional pressure used by a person to impose on another one acts of sexual order in the context of a heterosexual encounter of mutual agreement to go out together, to get to know themselves, or to have a romantic or erotic relationship, or a more formal relationship such as the courtship. Sexual coercion is a phenomenon mainly studied in heterosexual and student populations and by means of the theory of sexual scripts is one of the forms adopted by it that have been theoretically tackled with. Sexual scripts are all those structural blocks of knowledge information processing where concepts, categories and relationships based on social experience are gathered and which indicate how heterosexual sexual relationships are to be. The vast majority of the studies on sexual coercion have provided enough evidence on the fact that men are the main perpetrators and women are mostly the injured victims. In developing countries, such as Mexico, several studies show that young men frequently feel with the right, precisely for the fact of being men, to have sexual relationships with young women. For this reason, it is understandable that young women's sexual activity is mostly stigmatized, what can contribute to the acceptance of sexual coercion within the intimate couple relationships as a more <<masculine>> behavior and socially accepted. For this reason, although men can in some moment be sexually constrained and women can exert coercion, the meaning of the fact can be different and, besides, behaviors that are carried out to obtain the wanted sexual behavior themselves also differ between men and women. Tactics constitutes a clear example on the difference between men and women in the act of coercion. Some international studies have identified, in general terms, two types of sexual coercion tactics: indirect and the direct ones. The indirect tactics are strategies in which the person hides his/her sexual purpose. The direct tactics are strategies where the person openly uses physical or psychological force to compel the other one to get involved in certain sexual activity. In Mexico there are not studies about sexual coercion in non formal relationships of heterosexual couples. Because of the above-mentioned, the present work objectives were to know the frequency and type of sexual coercion tactics in men and women university students. Methods and material Three hundred and twenty students were interviewed, 49.7% of them were men and 50.3% women, and the average individual age was of 21 years. The sample was a non random one and the study was of exploratory type. A questionnaire ad hoc of open questions was elaborated, which made inquiries on the tactics used by men and women to press people of another sex to have a sexual relationship. Personal experiences of sexual coercion were also investigated. The application of the instrument was carried out in a group way and its length was around 45 minutes. Open questions were analyzed through the search of thematic units and categories. The contents analysis was used and later transformed into cases count in order to make the corresponding statistical analysis. Result About the experience of sexual coercion, 33.4% of the total sample mentioned that he/she had been victim of sexual coercion. Women (56.1 %) reported being mainly victims of sexual coercion contrary to the men (43.9%), when carrying out an X² statistics there were not significant differences, in statistical terms, between men and women. Nine point four percent of the total sample mentioned that he/she had exerted sexual coercion toward his/her couple. Men (83.3%) reported to have mainly exerted sexual coercion toward their couple contrary to women (16.7%). When carrying out an X² statistics a significant difference, in statistical terms, between men and women was found [X²=16.21, (gl =320/1) p = .000]. Regarding the frequency of the different tactics used by men, men and women reported that the indirect tactics are the most used by men to press women to have sexual relationships. Among the indirect tactics there were found the blackmail, the <<test of love>>, the verbal deceits, etc. On the other hand, the direct tactics such as threats of physical violence, use of physical violence, insistent petting, etc., were less used by men. Regarding sexual coercion tactics used by women, men and women who participated in the sample, mentioned that direct tactics are more used by women to press a man to have sexual relationships. Within this kind of tactics there were found sexual advances using the body, use of physical violence, use of verbal violence, etc. With respect to the indirect tactics, there were verbal deceits, blackmail, psychological threats, among others. Discussion This research is barely an exploratory study, non representative, but we consider that it makes a contribution of descriptive type to the understanding of sexual coercion in heterosexual relationships when considering both men as women. As it is observed in the results about the experience of sexual coercion, in general terms, such as it is shown in other studies, women were the main victims of sexual coercion, although some men reported being victims, there were no significant difference. Besides, as in other studies, men were those who mostly reported to exert sexual coercion contrary to women, being differences significant in statistical terms. Regarding the tactics used by men in order to coerce their couple, men and women who participated in the sample recognized the indirect tactics as the most used ones, which is in agreement with the outcomes found in other studies. What makes these results interesting is the fact that women recognize in a more open and significant way, that the way a man exerts coercion to a woman is by means of an indirect tactics. These results are much related with the sexual scripts where the man has to gain a sexual access to the woman. With regard to sexual coercion tactics used by women, the direct ones are outstanding, that is to say, those in which woman openly uses the physical, psychological or economic force to press a man to have sexual relationships. The studies about domestic violence state, on the whole, that violence is more exerted by men toward women than the opposite case. Nevertheless, there are also studies about domestic violence which state that women are as aggressive as men. These studies have been questioned and at the moment the debate persists about the findings, because although women use physical violence, it is important to wonder about the intensity of the blow or if the physical violence is rather a defensive answer. The results of this study show the relevance of knowing more about this phenomenon, since many of the subjects in this study are not able to identify any event of sexual coercion in their relationship, reason for which it will be necessary to search what is happening in Mexico on this matter and to even go into the topic of youth's relationships, in particular, the heterosexual ones and the scripts that regulate this relationship, in order to be able of creating better prevention programs guided to eliminate domestic violence to obtain a better mental, sexual and reproductive health.
La violencia es un problema que nos afecta a todas las personas de una u otra manera por la gran cantidad de manifestaciones en las que se presenta. Una de esas formas es la violencia sexual. En la actualidad ésta es considerada un problema prioritario de salud pública y de derechos humanos y se presenta en un continuo que va desde el manoseo hasta las relaciones sexuales forzadas. Una de las formas de este tipo de violencia es la coerción sexual que se define como el uso de cualquier tipo de presión física o emocional que es utilizada por una persona para imponer actos de orden sexual sobre otra en el contexto de un encuentro heterosexual de mutuo acuerdo para salir juntas, para conocerse o sostener una relación romántica o erótica, o en una relación más formal como el noviazgo. La coerción sexual ha sido abordada teóricamente a través de la teoría de los guiones sexuales o scripts. Aunque hombres y mujeres pueden sufrir este tipo de violencia, la gran mayoría de los estudios sobre coerción sexual han evidenciado que los hombres son los principales perpetradores y las mujeres, las víctimas. Un claro ejemplo sobre la diferencia entre hombres y mujeres en la forma de coercionar son las tácticas. Por lo anterior, el presente trabajo tiene como objetivos conocer la frecuencia y tipo de tácticas de coerción sexual en hombres y mujeres universitarios. Material y métodos Se entrevistaron a 320 estudiantes, un 49.7% de los sujetos fueron hombres y 50.3% mujeres, la media de edad fue de 21 años. La muestra fue no probabilística y el estudio fue de tipo exploratorio. Se elaboró un cuestionario ad hoc de preguntas abiertas, las cuales indagan sobre las tácticas utilizadas por hombres y mujeres para presionar a personas de otro sexo a tener una relación sexual; también se indagó sobre las experiencias personales de coerción sexual. La aplicación del instrumento se realizó de manera grupal con una duración aproximada de 45 minutos. Las preguntas abiertas fueron analizadas a través de la búsqueda de unidades temáticas y categorías. Se utilizó el análisis de contenido y después se transformó en conteo de casos para hacer el análisis estadístico correspondiente. Resultados Sobre la experiencia de coerción sexual, un 33.4% de la muestra total menciona que ha sido víctima de ella. Un 9.4% de la muestra total menciona que ha ejercido coerción sexual hacia su pareja; al realizar una X² se encontró una diferencia estadísticamente significativa entre hombres y mujeres [X² =16.21, (gl = 320/1) p = .000]. En cuanto a la frecuencia de las diferentes tácticas utilizadas por los hombres, los y las participantes reportan que las tácticas indirectas son más utilizadas por éstos, mientras que las mujeres utilizan más las tácticas directas. Discusión: Como se observa en los resultados, en general, al igual que en otros estudios, las mujeres son las principales víctimas de coerción sexual y los hombres quienes la ejercen. Los resultados de este estudio evidencian la importancia de conocer más sobre este fenómeno ya que muchos de los sujetos en este estudio no fueron capaces de identificar algún evento de coerción sexual en su relación, por lo que habrá que profundizar mucho más en el tema de las relaciones de pareja de los jóvenes, en particular en la heterosexualidad, y los guiones que la norman, para poder crear cada vez mejores programas de prevención encaminados a eliminar la violencia en las relaciones de pareja y para obtener una mejor salud mental, sexual y reproductiva.
The work of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in fighting against alcohol abuse and alcoholism has placed it as an institution of great importance in Mexico and around the world. Although its labor has been subject for controversy, there is a lot of evidence that frequent attendance and affiliation to the groups and sessions can be very helpful for many individuals. Research has been dedicated to the identification of the elements contributing to affiliation, such as involvement, commitment, and participation, or the level of adherence to the program's beliefs and activities. Some studies have used the time of membership and the frequency of attendance to AA as indicators of affiliation, but there are some authors who think that it is difficult to explore it using only these variables. Other authors have mentioned that alcoholics can go to AA for many reasons, but that mere attendance is not enough for reaching or maintaining abstinence. It has been established that when the impact of AA is measured only by the time of membership or the frequency of attendance, it is not possible to comprehend the essence of the subjective and behavioral characteristics involved in the process. Thus, it is important to differentiate between these and the true affiliation. There are only a few researches about the elements forming the affiliation to AA, and the ones available do not bring light over the process of its beginning. Some authors say that it is something more than the time or the frequency of attendance to meetings, and that is possible that it is a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon formed by several behaviors and beliefs about the 12 steps. Some studies have pointed out the interaction of different factors to achieve affiliation, but they have also remarked the need for including more variables in measuring it. One conclusion is that affiliation is a whole dimension that encompasses attendance and the level of participation in the activities. There are different questionnaires to measure the affiliation process, but most of them are difficult to interpret, and little is known about their fitting to AA members' perspective of things. Research in Mexico is complicated because of a lack of instruments developed from the local situation and experience. There are data that about 14 000 alcoholics enter AA every year. Relapse is high during the first three months (near 50%), but almost half of the persons that stay show adherence to the program, and eventually reach abstinence. Yet, the topic of the specific elements of affiliation, as well as their influence to maintain abstinence, has not received enough attention. The objectives of this study were: 1. to analyze the elements that constitute an affiliation profile, 2. to know if such elements are different or if they are part of a single construct, and 3. to find out if the amount of affiliation (the way an alcoholic involves him/herself in the activities of the group) can distinguish between those who have relapsed and those who have not. Method The sample was non-probabilistic; it included 192 AA members (87% men and 13% women). Average age was 42 years old. Two groups were formed: relapsed and non-relapsed (143 who did not consume any amount of alcohol since they entered AA or 10 years or more ago, and 49 who consumed any amount of alcohol within the four years prior to the interview). The questionnaire included scales to measure the service, the practice of the 12 steps, the spiritual awakening, sponsoring, time spent in AA, frequency of attendance, and reading of the materials. The questionnaire was specifically designed for measuring affiliation. Results There were significative differences in the mean participation time (it was higher in the non-relapsed subjects: t = -3.225, df=181, p<.00), in the activities related to <<service>> (they were more frequent and more extended in time in the non-relapsed subjects: X² = 7.76, p< .01; t = -2.258, df= 145, p< .02), in <<being a sponsor>> (most of the non-relapsed subjects are one: X² = 15.06, p< .000), in the practice of the steps 3-12 (non-relapsed AA practiced them more: X² = 5.16, p<.02), and in having the spiritual awakening experience (more frequent in the non-relapsed subjects: X² = 4.282, p<. 05). Internal consistency tests were executed, as well as a factor analysis to explore if the items that differentiated between the groups could form a single dimension. The first analysis resulted in a satisfactory internal consistency (cc = .67). The items were grouped in a unique dimension with an explained variance of 43.6%. An indicator for affiliation was developed through the sum of the scores from variables grouped in the factor analysis. A comparison using this indicator showed significant differences in the degree of involvement in AA (Z = -3.367, p<.001). Non-relapsed subjects had an affiliation ranging from high to very high. Discussion Results suggest that affiliation is an event formed by several elements that, either separated or combined, can behave significantly different between relapsed and non-relapsed AA members. This could mean that such variables are adherence or affiliation indicators. These elements are not exclusive or unrelated entities, but they constitute a measure of affiliation to AA. Its structure leads to consider them as part of the same phenomenon which could help to determine more precisely the degree of affiliation; the categorization made evident that there is an important association with abstinence. Thus, affiliation scores varied importantly between groups; the highest ones were on those who have maintained abstinence. It is possible to deduct that alcoholic subjects who participate more actively and during more time in AA get more positive results. These results concur with others in the sense that reaching long periods of abstinence in AA is related to a greater involvement in the activities of the groups. Likewise, the frequency of attendance to the meetings did not differentiate between relapsed and non-relapsed; this could suggest that just being there is not enough to obtain a satisfactory result. AA literature points out to the fact that attendance is a necessary condition for recovering, but its benefits reduce considerably without a genuine desire of involvement. The performance of the affiliation indicators identified in this study suggests the possibility of considering them as a dimension that explain the amount in which it exists in AA members. The fact that such dimension emerged from the experience of members from national groups represents an opportunity to use it as a valid scale in broader researches with bigger samples, and a chance to find out in a more reliable way the real role of AA in the recovery process. Since AA represents one of the most popular choices for the treatment of alcoholism in Mexico, research should continue for broadening the knowledge that health professionals, researchers, and everyone involved in prevention have about this organization. As shown by the results of this study, a better understanding of the benefits produced by the active participation in AA could help to motivate not only attendance to the meetings, but a full involvement in the activities suggested by the groups. The final effects may result in a reduction of the health costs generated by alcoholism and related problems attention.
La labor realizada por los grupos de Alcohólicos Anónimos (AA) para combatir el problema del alcoholismo los ha convertido en una de las opciones importantes. La adherencia o afiliación a estos grupos puede ser benéfica para ciertos alcohólicos, por lo que la investigación ha buscado identificar los aspectos que contribuyen a su establecimiento. Aunque la investigación aún no aclara el proceso mediante el que se logra, la ha destacado como un constructo que entrelaza la asistencia a las reuniones y el nivel de participación en los grupos, y se menciona que, cuanto mayor es el involucramiento, tiende a mejorar el pronóstico del alcohólico. A pesar de este panorama, en nuestro contexto, el tema de los componentes específicos de la afiliación a AA, así como su relevancia para mantener la abstinencia en comparación con la recaída, no ha recibido atención suficiente por parte de los investigadores en alcoholismo. Este trabajo tiene como objetivos: explorar elementos que pueden constituir un perfil de afiliación a AA, conocer si esos elementos son diferentes o forman parte de un mismo constructo y si la graduación de afiliación (clasificación de la forma en que el alcohólico se involucra en las diferentes actividades de los grupos) puede diferenciar entre quienes han recaído o no en el consumo de alcohol. Método La muestra fue no probabilística intencional; incluyó a 192 miembros de AA (87% hombres y 1 3% mujeres). Se formaron dos grupos: no recaídos y recaídos (143 no consumieron ninguna cantidad de alcohol y 49 consumieron cualquier cantidad de alcohol después de por lo menos tres meses de abstinencia). Se diseñó un cuestionario para evaluar la afiliación a AA; en éste se indaga el servicio, el apadrinamiento, la práctica de los 12 pasos, el <<despertar espiritual>>, el tiempo en AA, la frecuencia de asistencia y la lectura de literatura de AA. Resultados Hubo diferencias significativas en el tiempo promedio de participación (t = -3.225, gl = 181, p<.00), en la actividad de <<servicio>> (tenerlo: χ² = 7.76, p<.01 y horas dedicadas: t = -2.258, gl = 145, p<.02), tener la función de <<padrino>> ( χ²=15.06, p< .000), en la práctica reciente de los pasos 3 al 12 ( χ² = 5.166, p<.02) y en la experiencia del <<despertar espiritual>> ( χ² = 4.282, p<. 05), todos mayores en los no recaídos. Tras eliminar <<tiempo dedicado al servicio>>, se encontró una consistencia interna adecuada (α =.67) y un análisis factorial mostró que los reactivos se agrupaban en una sola dimensión, con una varianza explicada de 43.6%. Se construyó un indicador del grado de afiliación usando la sumatoria de los puntajes de las variables agrupadas y se trabajó una comparación por quintiles, la cual mostró diferencias significativas según el grado de involucramiento en AA (Z = -3.367, p<.001). Los no recaídos mostraron una afiliación que va de alta a muy alta. Discusión En este estudio, la afiliación a AA parecería un suceso compuesto por distintos elementos que se comportaron de modo significativamente diferente entre los recaídos y no recaídos. No fueron entidades separadas, sino partes de un mismo constructo que, trabajado en forma de quintiles (muy baja, baja, moderada, alta y muy alta), evidenció una asociación importante con la abstinencia. Los índices variaron de manera significativa entre los grupos de recaídos y no recaídos; los mayores se vieron en quienes han mantenido la abstinencia por largos periodos. Este resultado confirma hallazgos de estudios anteriores, en el sentido de que los alcohólicos más participativos en AA obtienen resultados más favorables. Los indicadores de afiliación detallados sugieren la posibilidad de considerarlos como una dimensión que dé cuenta del grado en que se manifiesta en los miembros de AA. Además, el que emergiera de la experiencia de los miembros de grupos nacionales representa la oportunidad de estructurarla como una escala válida para futuras investigaciones con muestras más grandes e indagar con mayor confiabilidad sobre el papel que desempeña AA en el proceso de recuperación del alcoholismo.
Sexual coercion in the context of flirting or courtship is a form of sexual violence that has rarely been explored in Mexico, with studies mainly being undertaken in the United States and some European countries. This may be due to the fact that it includes the use of certain practices that have traditionally not been regarded as violent and, on the contrary, been viewed as <<normal>> within intimate heterosexual relations. Like other forms of sexual violence, the definition of social coercion involves conceptual and methodological problems, since the term has been used interchangeably with other forms of sexual violence. Generally speaking, violence on dates or during courtship and sexual aggression tend to refer to a domineering behavior in sexual behavior in which physical aggression is used. At the same time, sexual coercion comprises a continuum of practices ranging from subtle psychological pressure and the use of language to the utilization of physical aggression to secure a sexual encounter. This form of violence may trigger major problems in the areas of mental, sexual, and reproductive health. For the purposes of this study, sexual coercion is defined as any type of physical or emotional pressure used by a person to impose acts of a sexual nature on another person within the context of a mutually agreed on heterosexual encounter to go out together, get to know each other or engage in a romantic or erotic relationship or in a more formal relationship such as courtship. This type of sexual violence occurs in Latin American countries where couple relationships continue to be regulated by certain cultural traditions that may prevent the problem from being detected. These norms, which are often stereotyped, create <<sexual scripts>>, in other words, structural blocks of information processing that combine concepts, categories and relationships based on the social experience that indicate how heterosexual relationships <<should>> be conducted. These scripts and their particular expression are strongly influenced by cultural attitudes and beliefs for men and women. In view of this context, it is hardly surprising that men and women engage in coercion in different ways to secure a sexual encounter. These different forms of coercion have been conceptualized as <<tactics>>, whether direct or indirect. Given the need to know how sexual coercion is defined, how it is exercised and whether coercive behavior is in fact identified, this study seeks to determine the meaning of sexual coercion, the tactics used by both sexes and the way in which young university students interpret the same coercive event. Method One way of dealing with the significance of a phenomenon, as well as its interpretation, is through the qualitative approach; for the purposes of this study, focus groups were used. Participants A total of 27 students comprised four focus groups, two comprising women, two comprising men. Three of these groups consisted of seven participants and one of six. The age range was 18 to 25. Data gathering techniques In order to obtain the information, thematic guidelines were drawn up to explore the meaning and interpretation students give sexual coercion as well as the type of tactics they recognize as being used by men and women. Procedure The study was carried out at two universities, after inviting participants to attend a focus group. At each public and private university, two groups (one of men, one of women) were formed. Analytical strategy For the analysis of the focus groups, audio-recorded interviews were transcribed. For each of the study, the entire transcription was read out for the first level of analysis. This was followed by segmentation, the extraction of fragments or paragraphs, sentences, phrases of words regarded as significant. Results As far as the significance of sexual coercion is concerned, it is striking that both men and women associate the term with extreme force, divided into three main categories: physical force, rape and violence against women. To a lesser extent, the term is identified with family violence and a continuum of sexual violence ranging from subtle to extremely severe. In order to obtain the meanings attributed to a situation of sexual coercion in courtship, participants discussed the two characters in a cartoon in order to reveal the aspects that could be regarded as accepted, permitted, questioned or rejected as means of obtaining a sexual relationship. The group discussion revealed two different points of view: men's and women's. In the analysis of the female character in the story, the men described her as a <<victim>> while the women regarded her as being responsible for what had happened. As for the male character in the story, the men perceived him as someone who was tactless and abusive, whereas the women labeled him as <<sick>>. The analysis of the tactics of sexual coercion used by men and women to obtain a sexual relationship revealed that indirect tactics are most commonly used by men and women. Conclusions It is important to note that although there are very few studies on sexual coercion in Latin American countries except in Argentina, Peru and Mexico, they must be undertaken, since failure to do so would mean neglecting a significant part of young people's sexual, reproductive, social and mental health. The following conclusions may be drawn from the results of this study: a) Most of the subjects interviewed are unclear as to the meaning of the term <<sexual coercion>>; b) Both the men and women in this study blame women for their victimization. This is particularly evident from the discussion of the cartoon on sexual coercion; c) Sexual coercion is a more common problem in women, although it has been said that men can be victims of sexual coercion as well. This finding opens up a significant line of research on how men perceive this type of violence, and d) Although both the male and female students in this study mentioned that men and women used indirect tactics more frequently to secure a sexual encounter, it is important to note that these are different, since men use subtle tactics with threats whereas women do not. This study showed that women are more likely to suffer some type of sexual coercion and that men use indirect tactics with threats. Although the subjects that participated in this study mentioned certain types of tactics used by women to obtain a sexual relationship, this result must be treated with caution, since further study is required on this issue. This exploratory study on the phenomenon shows the need for prevention strategies to enable men and women to identify an event in which they perceive they are being pressed in to having a sexual encounter. This is why it is important for sex education programs to include a gender perspective and to emphasize the notion of people's rights in order to eradicate inequalities of power and thereby eliminate any type of violence.
La coerción sexual, en el contexto de situaciones de "ligue" o en el noviazgo, es una forma de violencia sexual poco investigada en México. Posiblemente esto responda a que incluye el uso de ciertas prácticas que tradicionalmente no han sido reconocidas como violentas y que, muy por el contrario, se han visto como <<normales>> en las relaciones heterosexuales íntimas. Para los fines de este trabajo, la coerción sexual se define como cualquier tipo de presión física o emocional utilizada por una persona para imponer a otra actos de orden sexual en el contexto de un encuentro heterosexual de mutuo acuerdo para salir juntas. El presente trabajo tiene como objetivo conocer el significado de coerción sexual, las tácticas utilizadas por ambos sexos y la manera en que interpretan un mismo suceso coercitivo distintos jóvenes universitarios. Método Para los fines de este estudio, se utilizaron grupos focales. Participaron un total de 27 estudiantes que conformaron cuatro grupos focales: dos de mujeres y dos de hombres. Para obtener la información, se elaboró una guía temática que abordaba el significado e interpretación que otorgan los estudiantes a la coerción sexual, así como el tipo de tácticas que reconocen son utilizadas por hombres y mujeres. Procedimiento El estudio se llevó a cabo en las instalaciones de las Universidades participantes, previa convocatoria para asistir al grupo focal. Para el análisis de los grupos focales se transcribieron las entrevistas audiograbadas. Se realizó una segmentación que es la extracción de fragmentos o párrafos, oraciones, frases o palabras consideradas significativas. Resultados En cuanto al significado de la coerción sexual, destaca que hombres y mujeres asocian el concepto con el uso de una fuerza extrema. Para dar una idea de los significados atribuidos a una situación de coerción sexual en el noviazgo, se discutieron los dos personajes de una viñeta con el fin de dar cuenta de los aspectos que pueden considerarse aceptados, permitidos, cuestionados o rechazados como medios para obtener una relación sexual. Tras analizar las tácticas de coerción sexual utilizadas por hombres y mujeres para obtener una relación sexual, se encontró que las tácticas indirectas son las más utilizadas por ambos. Conclusiones De los resultados de este estudio se puede concluir lo siguiente: a) La gran mayoría de los sujetos entrevistados no tiene claro el significado del concepto <<coerción sexual>>. b) Tanto los hombres como las mujeres de este estudio culpan a las segundas de su victimización, situación que se ve muy clara en la viñeta sobre coerción sexual, c) Se pudo constatar que la coerción sexual es un problema que padecen con más frecuencia las mujeres, aunque se menciona que los hombres también pueden ser víctimas de coerción sexual. Este hallazgo abre una importante línea de investigación sobre cómo perciben los hombres este tipo de violencia. d) Por último, aunque todos los estudiantes participantes en este estudio mencionan que las tácticas indirectas son las que utilizan con más frecuencia los hombres y las mujeres para obtener un encuentro sexual, es importante señalar que hay diferencias ya que los primero recurren a una táctica sutil con amenaza y las mujeres no. Este estudio exploratorio sobre el fenómeno permite formular las estrategias de prevención necesarias para que hombres y mujeres sean capaces de identificar un evento en que perciban que se les presiona para tener un encuentro sexual. Por lo cual es importante que los programas de educación sexual contemplen una perspectiva de género y que además enfaticen sobre la noción de derechos de las personas para erradicar las desigualdades de poder y así eliminar cualquier tipo de violencia.
Summary: The prevalence of mental disorders in people deprived of freedom has been estimated at between 10 and 15%. Acute or chronic mental illnesses provoke a major breakdown and maladjustment to prison conditions. The more frequent diagnose of mental disorders have been substance consumption, major depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and psychotic disorders. Objective To identify the frequency of major depressive episode in women in prison in Mexico City, its frequency of association with alcohol and substance dependence, and to describe the symptomatic and socio-demographic characteristics. Material and method A transversal, non-experimental, descriptive, ex post facto field study, in two prisons of Mexico City (Centro Preventivo Femenil Oriente [Preventivo Oriente] and the Feminine Center for Social Readaptation Tepepan CERESO), in a non- probabilistic sample of 213 women, selected by convenience. The instrument was designed ex profeso. For the evaluation of the major depressive episode, the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) and DSM-IV criteria were used for substance dependence. Field work lasted from August 2001 to March 2004. Interviews were carried out under previous informed consent; confidentiality and anonymity were guaranteed. In collaboration with the Center of Orientation and Classification (COC), each center elaborated a list of inmates with a history of substance abuse who met the inclusion criteria to take part in the research. Results The mean age of the interviewed population was 30.6 ± 7.9 years; 45.5% belonged to the age group between 28 to 40 years; the school attainment more frequent was elementary school (41.3%), followed by secondary school. Single women represented 48.6% of the population and 50.2% referred having, at the moment of the interview, a partner relationship. The type of offense reported with major frequency was robbery (51.6%, in different modalities: unspecific, simple, aggravated, not-aggravated, unspecific, burglary, tentative of robbery and car theft). The researched population referred that 43.7% had previously done time in some penal institution. The frequency of depressive episodes was 62% (n=132) in the interviewed population. The group between 18 to 27 years, with lower years of schooling, single mothers with children under 18 years presented the highest frequency of depression and substance abuse. Alcohol dependence and depression were more frequent in women with less than six months in prison. For depression and substance dependence, the more affected group was the one between one to four years of imprisonment. As to the length of the sentence, women with three to seven years were the most affected by the two diagnoses. Conclusions The interviewed population showed that the longer the imprisonment or the sentence, the higher the frequency of the depressive disorder. A possible explanation is that being imprisoned for a long time may have severe consequences in women's well-being due in part to the fact that in most of the cases women are abandoned by their relatives and loved ones, which intern increases their loss of social support networks. The problem of mental disorders becomes more evident when it is estimated that only 40% of the people who have a disorder had received treatment. Nearly half of the depressed women had not received support and care for their mental health problem. In the group of women with alcohol dependence, less than a quarter had asked for help, in contrast with the group with substance dependence where half of the women had asked for help. On the other hand, prison by itself generates depression and it is a normal reaction in the face of the new situation. There is also the erroneous belief that symptoms will fade away by themselves. In other studies it has been observed that being deprived of freedom causes the lose of emotional relationships, solitude and boredom, lack of services, heterosexual relationships, autonomy, security, a problematic cohabitation with other unpredictable prisoners, all of which cause fear and anxiety. All these deprivations may constitute serious threats to the personality and self-esteem.
Abstract: Violence against women is an everyday problem which is expressed in various ways, whether physically, sexually or emotionally, and it may occur at either public or private level. The subject of violence against women has been regarded as a worldwide priority, since it obstructs every area of women's development. Society has acknowledged the fact that this violence "prevents the achievement of the objectives of equality, development and peace and that it violates, reduces or prevents (women's) enjoyment of human rights and fundamental liberties. A recent report by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Center for Health and Gender Equity shows that at least one out of every three women has been physically mistreated, forced to engage in sexual relations or suffered some type of abuse in the course of their lives. In Mexico as in other countries, violent behavior has been regarded as "natural" in relation to the way how to treat women; norms and everyday life have kept it hidden. Epidemiological surveys, however, show figures that reflect the scope of the problem, which in turn has meant that it is now considered as a serious health problem. Consequently, approaching the issue of intra-familial violence compels one to consider a characteristic cultural aspect: the questionable fact of referring to its existence solely within the private sphere. It is felt that what goes on inside a home is an intimate affair and that outsiders should not be aware of this, far less intervene. The same happens when one discusses the violence experienced by women living in prison, since they often continue to experience violence or abuse when they receive their conjugal visits; or else at the hands of other prisoners or from the institute itself and no-one seems willing to intervene. Women living in a penitentiary environment designed essentially for men, occupy a secondary position and are marginalized as regards planned work, cultural, sports, and recreational programs, partly due to the fact that the prison population is thought to be primarily male (1990 to 1994 reports). As Barquín notes, most women in prison experienced violence from their parents or witnessed their mothers being mistreated, and therefore became used to this type of behavior and more tolerant of it. This does not mean that these experiences should be regarded as the reason why women commit a crime or the main cause why they were admitted to the penal system. The cycle of violence that begins in the family is perpetuated in marriage and would appear to be completed in prisons, recommencing when women are released from prison. Being deprived of freedom as a result of imprisonment, together with the abuse that take place in jail appear to be a further link in the chain of multiple types of violence which constitute the path for some part of this population. Human Rights Watch is an organization that has undertaken specialized research in prisons since 1987 and in its 1988 report points out that Venezuelan prisons housed a total population of 25381 individuals, 4% of which were women. This same source reported that drug-related crimes led to a 55% increase in the jail population. In 1991, the percentage of female prisoners held in US state prisons for violent crimes was 32.2%, although that the majority had been imprisoned for non-violent crimes. Donzinger points out that the majority of women prisoners that had been sentenced for the murder of someone close to them had been victims of mistreatment or sexual abuse at some time in their lives, and thus violence against women should become an important issue for the authorities, as it is one of the most outstanding problems that reflects the current situation of the living conditions in prison centers. Given the importance that has violence against women in general, and the lack of statistical indicators on the issue of women in prison, the main objective of this paper was to describe the types of physical violence exercised by the partners of 213 women, interviewed at a Preventive Center and at Social Re-adaptation Center, in order to determine the scope of the problem and to propose intervention strategies. A non-probabilistic sample of 213 women, selected for reasons of convenience, was used. A specially designed instrument was used, consisting of a semi-structured interview with 242 questions, covering the following areas of the lives of the women interviewed: demographic data, school history, current family, family of origin, legal status, previous history of imprisonment, work experience, social networks depression, suicide risk, anguish, alcohol consumption variables, alcohol consumption measurement, variables for measuring the use of medical and non-medical drugs, scale of motives for consumption, treatment barriers, intimate relationships and sexuality, sexual abuse, violence/victimization, criminal violence, post-traumatic stress, prison environment, general health, and life styles and impulsiveness. The most important demographic characteristics of women found were: most were in the group aged from 28 to 40 year (45.5%), had six years or less of schooling (41.3%), secondary school (36.2%) and high school or technical college (16.4%) and were single (48.6%) or living with their partners (21.6%) while 50.7% had children under the age of 18. Of the 213 women interviewed, only 161 reported having suffered violence at the hands of their partners; 29.2% had experienced 1 to 5 acts, 23.4% had experienced 6 to 10, and 23.4% had been the object of 11 to 17 acts of violence. Statistics presented in this article in various research studies on family violence in most countries only show a small part of all the violence produced in families, and the results found in this research show that violence is higher among the group of female prisoners. One should not forget that prison reflects an exercise of the system that performs a marginalizing function, as it includes the poorest women from the most disadvantaged sectors, with low educational level. As Lima suggests, women are doubly stigmatized in prison, as they suffer first as women and second as criminals, not only because they belong to an underprivileged group in every social aspect, but because they belong to the group that has violated the classic image of women imposed by society, a fact for which they are severely punished, while the violence and abuse they have suffered is ignored.
OBJECTIVE. The objectives of the present study were: 1) To corroborate the increase in alcohol consumption in the female population registered by results from the National Surveys on Addictions (ENA), 1988 and 1993; and 2) to determine affected age groups, and obtain basic information on age of onset, amount consumed per event and drunkenness frequency in the adult population of Mexico City, as indicators to orient preventive measures. MATERIAL AND METHODS. A multi-stage, stratified household survey was applied. A total of 1 932 interviews was completed, subjects were between 18 and 65 years of age, with a response rate of 60.4%. The instrument was a modified version of the Composite International Psychiatric Interview (CIDI), which is a highly structured instrument, applicable by non-specialized personnel, although limited training is necessary. The alcohol section included questions on the age of the first drink, the frequency and amount consumed during each event and the drunkenness frequency during the last 12 months, among other variables. Median and percentage were obtained by sex and among age-cohorts. RESULTS. Of the total, 96.5% of men and 81.1% of women have consumed at least one drink in their lives. In average, age of onset is 16 years for men, and 18 years for women. Age group comparisons show a clear tendency to begin drinking at an earlier age, particularly in women. The growing trend indicated by ENA with respect to alcohol consumption in the feminine population and at a younger age was corroborated. Results indicated that, in average, 5 years after the age of onset, both men and women reach their highest quantities of alcohol consumption, which tend to be excessive. Additionally, high-risk drinking among women (five or more drinks per event) increased to be four times higher in a period of seven years, and with an apparent tendency to rise. Sixty percent of the drinking population reduced alcohol consumption before the age of 30, however, the remaining 40% continued to drink at the same rate, or even increased consumption, particularly among women. CONCLUSIONS. The age of onset of alcohol consumption has diminished, especially in women, showing tendencies towards abuse. Preventive programs should predominantly focus on young age groups with emphasis on the feminine population.
OBJETIVO. En este estudio se buscó, por una parte, corroborar el incremento en el consumo de alcohol en la población femenina, de acuerdo con los resultados de las Encuestas Nacionales de Adicciones (ENA) de 1988 y 1993, y determinar los grupos de edad afectados; por otra parte, obtener información básica acerca de la edad de inicio, la cantidad de alcohol consumida por ocasión y la frecuencia de embriaguez en la población adulta de la Ciudad de México, como indicadores para orientar programas preventivos. MATERIAL Y MÉTODOS. Con una encuesta de hogares y mediante un diseño polietápico y estratificado, se llevaron a cabo 1 932 entrevistas completas con individuos de entre 18 y 65 años de edad, con una tasa de respuesta de 60.4%. Se utilizó una versión modificada de la Entrevista Psiquiátrica Internacional Compuesta (CIDI, por sus siglas en inglés), que es un instrumento altamente estructurado; lo puede utilizar personal no especializado, aunque sí con capacitación. En la sección que trata acerca del consumo de alcohol se preguntó la edad en que se tomó la primera copa, la frecuencia y la cantidad del consumo por ocasión, y la frecuencia de embriaguez en el último año, entre otras variables. Para este estudio se obtuvieron las medianas y los porcentajes por grupos de edad y sexo. RESULTADOS. Se observó que 96.5% de la población masculina y 81.1% de la población femenina han consumido al menos una copa de alcohol en su vida. En promedio, la edad de inicio en el consumo fueron los 16 años para los varones y los 18 años para las mujeres. Por grupos de edad, se apreció una clara tendencia a beber la primera copa a edades más tempranas, sobre todo entre las mujeres. Se corroboró la tendencia que indican las ENA acerca del aumento en el consumo de alcohol entre la población femenina y en los grupos de edad más jóvenes. Los resultados indicaron que, en promedio, cinco años después del inicio del contacto con el alcohol, la población de ambos sexos alcanza su más alto nivel de consumo, mismo que en general tiende a ser excesivo. Asimismo, se hizo evidente un incremento en la ingesta riesgosa de alcohol entre las mujeres (cinco copas o más por ocasión), que es de casi cuatro veces más en un periodo de siete años y con una aparente tendencia al aumento. De la población bebedora, 60% redujo su ingesta antes de los 30 años; sin embargo, el 40% restante ha continuado bebiendo igual o en mayor cantidad, en particular las mujeres. CONCLUSIONES. La edad de inicio en el consumo del alcohol se ha reducido entre las mujeres, y se aprecian tendencias al exceso. Los programas preventivos acerca del abuso en el consumo de alcohol y sus consecuencias deben dirigirse a la población más joven, haciendo énfasis en el sexo femenino.
Objective. To determine the prevalence of sexual abuse among high school (secondary and preparatory) students, male and female, throughout Mexico, and its relationship with drug abuse. Material and methods. Data were obtained from the National Survey of Drug Use in Schools applied in November and December, 1991. A total of 61 779 students, 51.8% men and 47.1% women, with a mean age of 14.4 years completed the self-applied questionnaire. Sexual abuse was explored from the perspective of the abusers and of the victims. Results. The prevalence of sexual abuse in adolescent victims was 4.3% and no statistically significant differences were found between sexes. The prevalence of sexual aggressors was 2.5%. Men coerced someone else in a higher proportion than women. Adolescent women experienced sexual abuse at a younger age than men and they also reported a higher percentage of intrafamily abuse. Men reported friends as the most frequent aggressors. Victims and aggressors of both sexes reported a significantly higher drug consumption than students without these antecedents. Conclusions. The differences in the experience of sexual abuse between men and women are described. In particular, the fact that sexual abuse in men mainly occurs outside the family sphere, while in women it is mainly within the family and at a younger age than in men. Additionally, the need for further research focusing on the consequences on mental health of infantile and adolescent sexual abuse and drug consumption is emphasized, considering the characteristics of each gender.
Objetivo. Determinar la prevalencia de abuso sexual en estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria, hombres y mujeres, de todo el país, así como su relación con el consumo de drogas. Material y métodos. Los datos fueron obtenidos de la Encuesta Nacional de Uso de Drogas en la Comunidad Escolar, llevada a cabo en noviembre y diciembre de 1991, en la que fueron encuestados un total de 61 779 alumnos, 51.8% hombres y 47.1% mujeres, con una media de edad de 14.4 años. Se utilizó un instrumento autoaplicado, en el que el abuso sexual fue explorado tanto desde la perspectiva de quienes lo han experimentado -víctimas-, como desde quienes lo han ejercido -agresores. Resultados. La prevalencia de adolescentes víctimas de abuso sexual fue de 4.3%, y no se encontraron diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre sexos. La prevalencia de agresores fue de 2.5%; los adolescentes varones habían coercionado sexualmente a otra persona en proporción significativamente mayor que las mujeres. Estas sufrieron el abuso a edades menores en un porcentaje significativamente más alto que los hombres. Asimismo, notificaron una proporción más elevada de abusos por parte de familiares, mientras que los hombres mencionaron principalmente a los amigos como los agresores más frecuentes. Tanto las víctimas como los agresores de ambos sexos, reportaron un consumo de drogas significativamente mayor que los estudiantes sin estos antecedentes. Conclusiones. Se enfatizan las diferencias en la experiencia de abuso sexual de mujeres y hombres como víctimas y como agresores. En particular, se discute el hecho de que el abuso sexual en varones sea principalmente extrafamiliar, así como el riesgo mayor que tienen las mujeres de ser víctimas de abuso sexual intrafamiliar en edades tempranas. Asimismo, se plantea la necesidad de abordar las consecuencias, en la salud mental, del abuso sexual infantil y adolescente y del consumo de drogas, considerando las particularidades de cada género.