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What is Sexual and Reproductive Coercion?

February 8, 2019 12:52 pm | Published by


Interview with Saltzer Medical Group’s Dr. Megan Kasper and 94.9 The River’s Debbie Courson

Sexual Coercion

A range of behavior that a partner may use related to sexual decision making to pressure or coerce a person to have sex without using physical force

 Examples:

  1. Being worn down by someone who repeatedly asks for sex
  2. Being lied to or being promised things that weren’t true to trick you into having sex
  3. Having someone threaten to end a relationship or spread rumors about you if you don’t have sex with them
  4. Having an authority figure, like a boss, property manager, loan officer, or professor, use their influence or authority to pressure you into having sex

Coercion can make you think you owe sex to someone. It might be from someone who has power over you, like a teacher, landlord, or a boss. No person is ever required to have sex with someone else. Sexual coercion is not your fault. If you are feeling pressured to do something you don’t want to do, speak up or leave the situation. It is better to risk a relationship ending or hurting someone’s feelings than to do something you aren’t willing to do.

Reproductive Coercion

Behavior intended to maintain power and control in a relationship related to reproductive health by someone who is, was, or wishes to be involved in an intimate or dating relationship.

  1. Strong opinions or lying about birth control
  2. Sabotaging birth control methods
  3. Pushing for an unwanted pregnancy
  4. Pressure to terminate a pregnancy

Reproductive coercion is a form of sexual abuse. This type of sexual abuse is the least discussed form of intimate partner violence so it’s no surprise that many people are unaware that it even exists. Regardless of what beliefs, opinions, and controversial discussions exist about matters regarding birth control, reproductive coercion should be addressed as it can affect the emotional, mental, and physical health of survivors.

Local Resources:

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Call 911 if you are in immediate danger.

National Resources:

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This post was written by Saltzer Health