Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

James H. Geer


Using the Pathfinder computer algorithm comparisons were made of participants' knowledge organization of sexual, sexually aggressive, and aggressive concepts. Three hundred and fifty-two heterosexual males (81 admitting a past history and future likelihood of sexual aggressive/coercive behavior; 111 admitting a past history of engaging in sexual aggression; 88 admitting no past history of or future likelihood of engaging in sexual aggression) rated all possible pairwise combinations of 18 words relevant to sex, aggression, sexual aggression, and emotion. Analyses of the dependent variable, number of links, failed to support predicted differences as a function of level of sexual aggression in the number of links between word categories, within word categories, or on specific words. Unpredicted differences in the organization of sexual information as a function of level of sexual aggression were obtained. Measures of network similarity and link strength failed to reveal significant differences as a function of level of sexual aggression. Results generally do not support a network theory of sexual aggression predicated upon an overlap of sexual and aggressive elements. However, further results supported Malamuth et al.'s (1991) confluence model of sexual aggression in that levels of hypermasculinity and sexual promiscuity/preoccupation varied as a function of level of sexual aggression. In addition, using regression analysis, attraction to sexual aggression and hypermasculinity were significant predictors of responses to an analogue measure of sexual aggression. Results suggest the role of sexual drive, disinhibition, and distortion in sexual aggression.