Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Psychology, Clinical-Community

Date of Defense


Graduate Advisor

Ann Steffen, Ph.D.


Zoe D. Peterson, Ph.D.


Matt Taylor, Ph.D.

Susan Kashubeck-West, Ph.D.


The purpose of the current study was to investigate women’s experiences with same-sex sexual coercion perpetration and victimization. Specifically, I sought to explore the role that the stress of living as a sexual minority plays in these experiences as well as to determine whether the psychological variables of perceived powerlessness, psychological distress, social support, and alcohol use mediate the relationship between minority stress and perpetration and victimization experiences. Data were collected online from self-identified women and individuals assigned female at birth who reported experiencing genital sexual contact with another woman (N=339). Of the cisgender women in the sample, 31.6% reported same-sex sexual coercion victimization and 19.2% reported same-sex sexual coercion perpetration. Among cisgender sexual minority participants, experiencing heterosexist discrimination was related to same-sex sexual coercion victimization but not perpetration. Internalized heterosexism was not related to either perpetration or victimization. For cisgender sexual minority participants, feelings of powerlessness and psychological distress did not mediate the relationship between minority stress and perpetration. Similarly, social support and alcohol use did not mediate the relationship between minority stress and victimization. Results indicate that, although same-sex sexual coercion does indeed occur in women’s sexual encounters, the pathways through which minority stress may predict these experiences remain relatively unclear.