Tactics to Obtain Sex Scale

Tactics to Obtain Sex Scale‌‌‌‌

JOSEPH A. CAMILLERI,1 Westfield State College, Massachusetts

The Tactics to Obtain Sex Scale (TOSS; Camilleri, Quinsey, & Tapscott, 2009) is a 31-item self-report attitude measure with two subscales designed to evaluate a person’s current propensity to engage in sexual coaxing or sexual coercion with one’s sexual partner.

Previous measures of partner sexual coercion evaluated the frequency and severity of sexual coercion in relation- ships (e.g., Shackelford & Goetz, 2004; Straus, Hamby, Boney-McCoy, & Sugarman, 1996). Using these temporally fixed dynamic variables (i.e., historic events, such as history of alcohol abuse) limits assessments to determining the presence of partner sexual coercion and limits research to quasi-experimental designs. If, however, clinicians or researchers are interested in changes in risk before and after treatment or after experimental manipulation, they require measures that are sensitive to proximal change in risk, known as temporally variable dynamic variables (e.g., being intoxicated; see Quinsey, Jones, Book, & Barr, 2006). Examples of measures that assess sexual coercion propensity include the various rape attitude and empathy measures (e.g., Deitz, Blackwell, Daley, & Bentley, 1982; Payne, Lonsway, & Fitzgerald, 1999), but none are specific to sexual offending in relationships.

Because the behaviors people use to obtain sex vary, a comprehensive measure of tactics people use also needs to capture benign and seductive tactics, known as sexual coaxing (Camilleri et al., 2009). Because sexual coaxing is more prevalent than sexual coercion, and only one measure exists to evaluate past instances of sexual coaxing in relationships (Jesser, 1978), a subscale that evaluates current propensity for sexual coaxing could be useful for couples research.

Description

To evaluate current propensity, participants are asked how they would respond to a hypothetical situation—their partner refusing sexual intercourse that evening. Given that scenario, participants rate a total of 31 items on how likely they would use each tactic and how effective each tactic would be in obtaining sex on a 5-point scale that ranges from 0 (Definitely Not) to 4 (Definitely). Current propensity was therefore defined as a respondent reporting a high likelihood of using tactics that the individual considered to be effective in obtaining sex from a reluctant partner.

Thirty-six items that varied on sexual coercion and sexual coaxing, and on verbal and physical acts, were initially selected from behaviors described in the literature and from the author’s clinical experience and research. Factor analytic techniques reduced the number of items and con- firmed a two-factor structure: 19 tactics were sexually coercive (COERCE) and 12 tactics were sexually coaxing (COAX).

The TOSS was developed and validated among student and community participants who were sexually active in heterosexual dating, cohabiting, common-law, or marital relationships.

Response Mode and Timing

Participants should complete the TOSS in a private room using either a paper-and-pencil format (see Exhibit) or a computer program that randomizes item order. Internal consistency and factor structure are similar across modalities (Camilleri et al., 2009). It should take participants no longer than 10 minutes to complete the TOSS.

Scoring

Likelihood and effectiveness ratings are summed for each item; then sexual coercion item total scores are summed for the partner sexual coercion subscale score (COERCE), and sexual coaxing item total scores are summed for the partner sexual coaxing subscale (COAX). COERCE scores can range from 0 to 152, where higher scores indicate a greater current propensity for partner sexual coercion. COAX scores range from 0 to 96, where higher scores indi- cate a greater current propensity for partner sexual coaxing. A total TOSS score could also be calculated by summing COAX and COERCE total scores. Higher scores would indicate a higher propensity for using any tactic to obtain sex from a partner.

Reliability

Camilleri et al. (2009) reported internal consistency estimates that ranged from .87 to .89 (COERCE); .92 to .93 (COAX); and .90 to .91 (TOSS).

Validity

Construct validity of the TOSS was established by finding significant correlations between the COERCE subscale and other measures of antisociality, including psychopathy and attraction to sexual aggression, whereas significant correlations were found between COAX and measures of general sexual interest measures and self-perceived mating success (Camilleri & Quinsey, 2009a; Camilleri et al., 2009).

Initial criterion validity of the TOSS was demonstrated from a relationship between COERCE and sexually coercive behaviors with one’s partner in the last month and year, and no relationship with nonsexual violence against a partner. COAX, on the other hand, correlated with instances of signaling sexual interest with one’s partner.

Temporal sensitivity of the COERCE subscale is sup- ported by finding higher scores among men who experienced many recent cues to infidelity than men who did not experience such cues (Camilleri & Quinsey, 2009b). Temporal sensitivity of COAX was supported by finding scores varied by age and finding lower COAX scores among younger participants who were in committed relationships (common-law or marital) than dating or cohabiting relationships (Camilleri et al., 2009).

Other Information

Because of its unique properties, the TOSS has been used to test novel hypotheses about individual difference characteristics and social predictors of sexually coercive and sexually coaxing behaviors in relationships (Camilleri & Quinsey, 2009a, 2009b). Not only are further psychometric refinements to the scale possible and encouraged, but I hope this scale encourages further discourse into the causes and consequences of sexual conflict in relationships. The scale could be further validated among clinical and correctional populations and used experimentally to measure changes in coercive and coaxing interests.

1Address correspondence to Joseph A. Camilleri, Psychology Department, Westfield State College, 577 Western Ave, Westfield, MA 01086; e-mail: [email protected]

Acknowledgements

The author would like to thank Vern Quinsey for his helpful comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript.

Tactics to Obtain Sex Scale

Suppose you were with your partner this evening, and he/she did not want to have sex with you: Please rate how effective the following acts would be to persuade your partner into having sex. Remember, you may skip questions you are uncomfortable in answering.

Effectiveness of Acts

Definitely Not

Unlikely

Maybe

Probably

Definitely

Massage his/her neck or back

0

1

2

3

4

Threaten to leave

0

1

2

3

4

Try to make him/her feel bad about not having sex

0

1

2

3

4

Play with his/her hair

0

1

2

3

4

Suggest you may harm him/her

0

1

2

3

4

Offer to buy him/her something

0

1

2

3

4

Lie down near him/her

0

1

2

3

4

Tie partner up

0

1

2

3

4

Block partner’s retreat

0

1

2

3

4

Tickle

0

1

2

3

4

Provide him/her with drugs

0

1

2

3

4

Call him/her names

0

1

2

3

4

Threaten self-harm

0

1

2

3

4

Massage feet/thighs

0

1

2

3

4

Use humor

0

1

2

3

4

Say you might break partner’s property

0

1

2

3

4

Wait until he/she is sleeping

0

1

2

3

4

Attempt to blackmail

0

1

2

3

4

Caress near/on partner’s genitals

0

1

2

3

4

Rub leg with his/her legs

0

1

2

3

4

Whisper in his/her ear

0

1

2

3

4

Softly kiss his/her ears, neck, or face

0

1

2

3

4

Question partner’s sexual orientation

0

1

2

3

4

Break partner’s property

0

1

2

3

4

Say sweet things

0

1

2

3

4

Provide him/her with alcohol

0

1

2

3

4

Explain that your needs should be met

0

1

2

3

4

Take advantage of him/her if he/she’s already drunk or stoned

0

1

2

3

4

Slap or hit

0

1

2

3

4

Caress his/her chest/breasts

0

1

2

3

4

Physically restrain

0

1

2

3

4

Suppose you were with your partner this evening, and he/she did not want to have sex with you: Please rate how likely you would engage in the following acts to persuade your partner into having sex. Remember, you may skip questions you are uncomfortable in answering.

Likelihood You Would Use Acts

Definitely Not

Unlikely

Maybe

Probably

Definitely

Massage his/her neck or back

0

1

2

3

4

Threaten to leave

0

1

2

3

4

Try to make him/her feel bad about not having sex

0

1

2

3

4

Play with his/her hair

0

1

2

3

4

Suggest you may harm him/her

0

1

2

3

4

Offer to buy him/her something

0

1

2

3

4

Lie down near him/her

0

1

2

3

4

Tie partner up

0

1

2

3

4

Block partner’s retreat

0

1

2

3

4

Tickle

0

1

2

3

4

Provide him/her with drugs

0

1

2

3

4

Call him/her names

0

1

2

3

4

Threaten self-harm

0

1

2

3

4

Massage feet/thighs

0

1

2

3

4

Use humor

0

1

2

3

4

Say you might break partner’s property

0

1

2

3

4

Wait until he/she is sleeping

0

1

2

3

4

Attempt to blackmail

0

1

2

3

4

Caress near/on partner’s genitals

0

1

2

3

4

Rub leg with his/her legs

0

1

2

3

4

Whisper in his/her ear

0

1

2

3

4

Softly kiss his/her ears, neck, or face

0

1

2

3

4

Question partner’s sexual orientation

0

1

2

3

4

Break partner’s property

0

1

2

3

4

Say sweet things

0

1

2

3

4

Provide him/her with alcohol

0

1

2

3

4

Explain that your needs should be met

0

1

2

3

4

Take advantage of him/her if he/she’s already drunk or stoned

0

1

2

3

4

Slap or hit

0

1

2

3

4

Caress his/her chest/breasts

0

1

2

3

4

Physically restrain

0

1

2

3

4

References

Camilleri, J. A., & Quinsey, V. L. (2009a). Individual differences in the propensity for partner sexual coercion. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 21, 111–129.

Camilleri, J. A., & Quinsey, V. L. (2009b). Testing the cuckoldry risk hypothesis of partner sexual coercion in community and forensic samples. Evolutionary Psychology, 7, 164–178.

Camilleri, J. A., Quinsey, V. L., & Tapscott, J. L. (2009). Assessing the propensity for sexual coaxing and sexual coercion in relationships: Factor structure, reliability, and validity of the Tactics to Obtain Sex Scale. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 38, 959–973.

Deitz, S. R., Blackwell, K. T., Daley, P. C., & Bentley, B. J. (1982). Measurement of empathy toward rape victims and rapists. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 372–384.

Jesser, C. J. (1978). Male response to direct verbal sexual initiatives of females. The Journal of Sex Research, 14, 118–128.

Payne, D. L., Lonsway, K. A., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1999). Rape myth acceptance: Exploration of its structure and its measurement using the Illinois Rape Myth Acceptance Scale. Journal of Research in Personality, 33, 27–68.

Quinsey, V. L., Jones, G. B., Book, A. S., & Barr, K. N. (2006). The dynamic prediction of antisocial behavior among forensic psychiatric patients: A prospective field study. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 21, 1539–1565.

Shackelford, T. K., & Goetz, A. T. (2004). Men’s sexual coercion in inti- mate relationships: Development and initial validation of the Sexual Coercion in Intimate Relationships Scale. Violence and Victims, 19, 541–556.

Straus, M. A., Hamby, S. L., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. B. (1996). The revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2). Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283–316.