Attachment and coercive sexual behavior
This study examined the relationships between childhood attachment and coercive sexual behavior. One hundred sixty-two male undergraduate students completed self-report measures of childhood maternal attachment, childhood paternal attachment, adult attachment, antisociality, aggression, and coercive sexual behavior. As predicted, insecure childhood attachment, especially insecure paternal attachment, was associated with antisociality, aggression, and coercive sexual behavior. Moreover, childhood attachment independently predicted coercive sexual behavior after antisociality and aggression were statistically controlled. The hypothesis that paternal avoidant attachment would predict coercive sexual behavior independently of its relationship with aggression and antisociality was also supported. Posthoc analysis indicated that maternal anxious attachment was associated with antisociality and that paternal avoidant attachment was associated with both antisociality and coercive sexual behavior. These results are consistent with criminological and psychological research linking adverse early family experiences with offending and lend support to an attachment-theoretical framework for understanding offending behavior in general and sexual offending behavior in particular.