Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Narcissistic Reactance Theory of Sexual Coercion
Kathleen R. Catanese
The narcissistic reactance theory of sexual coercion and rape explains how the personality of rapists intersects with situational factors to produce reactance. Reactance is a psychological motive to reassert one's sense of freedom when freedom has been denied. In the case of rape, some men will desire sex more after they have experienced a sexual rejection. Rapists will be motivated to reassert their freedom by aggressing against the woman who has denied them sex and by forcing her to have sex. Reactance cannot fully explain rape because most men do not rape when they are refused sex. The narcissistic reactance theory of sexual coercion asserts that men who display narcissistic personality characteristics are more prone to rape in the face of sexual refusal. The typical date rape occurs after a man and a woman have engaged in some sexual activity short of intercourse such as kissing or oral sex. The ...