Laura C. Spiller, Ph. D.
Department of Psychology
Dr. Spiller earned her B.A. in psychology from the
The sexual aggression research lab is currently conducting several studies on sexual coercion in college dating relationships. We have gathered a large dataset assessing a variety of risk factors for the sexual aggression perpetration and victimization. Another study investigates whether experiencing a virtual reality role play in which a male avatar uses increasingly coercive sexual advances can increase the participantís ability to take the perspective of a sexual coercion victim and increase the salience of the prevention program as a whole. Another line of research investigates both menís and womenís use of a wide range of sexual initiation and influence tactics used to get a reluctant partner to agree to a greater degree of intimate, sexual activity. This research examines not only how commonly these tactics are use but also how they perceived in terms of acceptability and potential harm. One of the products of this research has been the development of a measure of sexual initiation tactics. Future research in this area will use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to better understand the social-cognitive context in which these interactions occur.
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