Alright, Montreal, this could be a little bit of a controversial subject... but the proof is in the numbers, so bear with me.
A recent study, done in Quebec, has been all over Reddit I think it's important to read.
Done by Geneviève Parent, a professor in the Department of psychoeducation and psychology at the Université du Québec en Outaouais, it is one of the first studies to study female sexual coercion.
The study shows that a little more than 40% of women in Quebec have already tried to force a man into having sex against his will.
Parent surveyed almost 300 women recruited from academia.
Among those who admitted to having tried to force a man into sexual contact, 1/3 claimed to have used insistent seduction strategies, still touching the person despite their refusal.
Manipulation can be considered a weapon of coercion and is widely used by women, according to this study.
Comments like "we know we do not want to have sex because of *this or *that" were noted as manipulative tactics the study found to be predominant among the women surveyed.
The women who may have tried to intoxicate a man, or took advantage of a man's intoxication to have sex, also appear on the study but to a lesser extent.
Finally, though, no women reported ever having used physical violence to achieve their goals.
The study goes on to show that women will tend to use methods that are considered more subtle. Parent notes that she is always surprised to see how certain gestures - such as a hand on the thigh of a non-consenting person - do not elicit the same indignation when done by a woman as it would if the gender roles were reversed.
This is a very true and important observation. Today, with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movement happening all around us there are plenty of stories or scenarios that have gone down but aren't looked at as being relevant or important enough to be spoken about.
This study is important to see the other side of that coin, no matter how big or small it is in comparison.
In an interview with Le Devoir, Parent notes that she is making these assumptions in the study with caution.
She uses two broad trajectories to explain coercion in females in connection with "sexual script according to which the man can not refuse sexual relations because it is expected that he is a perpetual applicant of these."
Parent sees sexual aggression as a way of having sex with little regard for the emotions of others. It evokes an impersonal and emotionless approach to sexuality and a problem of emotional regulation.
Facing refusal, the woman experiences "emotional torment (shame, guilt, anger)" caused by the "incongruence with her sexual script."
The 41% that have acted in this manner is noted by Parent as being surprisingly high. She says that this could be due to the questions asked being very, very broad.
"It's a very high percentage, it surprised us, but it's probably due to the fact that our questions were very, very broad," says the author of the study.
The 41% includes a range of tactics that could have been used by women at least once in their life, that resulted in sexual intercourse or not, whether they were in a relationship or not.
Sexual misconduct, manipulation, and sexual aggression is not something that should be accepted by any one person, no matter their sexual or gender identity.
This article is not intended to take away, in any manner, from the women who have come forward telling their stories of sexual misconduct and assault. These stories are important to help better anyone who has acted this way or experienced aggressive sexual behavior themselves.
Still, it is very important to step back and realize that some scenarios or, at the very least, some tactics used by women towards men can be part of the bigger picture surrounding the #MeToo and #TimesUP movements we see today.
This doesn't even begin to speak about the gay men and women who experience sexual aggression in same-sex couples and partnerships - and trust me, there is a lot of this, at least within the man-on-man gay world...
As a gay man, the sexual aggression between two men can be very common, often fetishized, even. The moral of the story here is that while some cases may be more common by certain gender groups, that the issue goes much deeper than one gender or the other.