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Violence in Sex Related to Feelings of Inadequacy

What causes the sexual violence that some men inflict on their partners?

Most studies on men who sexually assault their partners have been conducted on samples of men referred to the Justice Department. However, a recent study was published involving men with a history of sexual violence against their partners, who had never been involved with the justice system.

The study, conducted in Portugal on a sample of students, aimed to identify characteristics of these men, particularly regarding their sexual function.

According to the results, men who committed violence against women had more difficulty achieving erections and orgasms, as well as experiencing anxiety about their sexual performance, compared to their peers who did not commit sexual violence.

Additionally, men who were sexually violent felt more shame about their sexuality, believed they were unattractive, and experienced high feelings of inadequacy.

How is the aforementioned data explained?

This particular study links violent sexual practices among young men with sexual performance anxiety. While performance anxiety is known to be related to erection and ejaculation problems, it appears that in some cases, it can also be associated with violent sexual practices.

However, these two factors are not causally related. In other words, engaging in violence does not result from having performance anxiety, but rather from holding a belief system that generates performance anxiety and violent behavior.

Previous research by the same research group has shown that young men who engage in sexual violence are characterized by beliefs indicating low trust in others, feelings of dependence and inadequacy, and pessimistic beliefs.

Carvalho J, Quinta-Gomes A, Nobre PJ (2013) The sexual functioning profile of a nonforensic sample of individuals reporting sexual aggression against women. J Sex Med 10:1744-1754.


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