Women’s Behavioral Responses to Sexual Aggression: The Role of Secondary Cognitive Appraisals and Self-Regulation

Christine K. Tirabassi, S. Jean Caraway, Raluca M. Simons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Sexual assault history, secondary cognitive appraisals, and a dual-process model of self-regulation were examined as predictors of women’s intended behavioral responses to hypothetical sexual aggression. College women (N = 435) read a sexually aggressive scenario and rated their intentions to engage in assertive, polite, and passive behavioral responses. Results indicated secondary cognitive appraisals predicted less assertive, more polite, and more passive responses. Good self-control predicted assertive and polite responses, while sexual assault history and poor regulation predicted passive responses. Poor regulation significantly moderated the relationship between secondary cognitive appraisals and passive behavioral responses. Implications for the prevention of sexual assault are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1689-1709
Number of pages21
JournalViolence Against Women
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017



  • behavioral responses
  • good self-control
  • poor regulation
  • secondary cognitive appraisals
  • sexual aggression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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