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00Sep04c Coxell reference (Tom O'Carroll)

Sorting myself out after returning from a long period away from home I have just come across an old request for information about a paper by Coxell and colleagues that had been mentioned by RBT in a public defense of their work.

The full Coxell paper is available free from the website of the British Medical Journal, which published the print version. The page is at:


The paper's findings are certainly worth citing, despite the fact that the authors were plainly more interested in non-consensual sex than consensual.

For reference, here is what Rind et al said about the paper:

Coxell and his colleagues, all abuse researchers, examined a nonclinical sample of nearly 2,500 men in Great Britain, recruited from general medical practices. They were interested in psychological correlates of non-consenting sexual experiences, but also inquired about sexual things the men had done prior to age 16 with someone at least 5 years older that they had wanted to do, so as not to miss these "abusive" experiences. Throughout their paper they distinguished repeatedly between consensual sex and non-consensual sex - their terms. They found that 5.3% of the men had had non-consenting sex prior to age 16 (with peers or persons significantly older), but that 7.7% had had consensual sex prior to age 16 with persons significantly older. We examined the findings reported for their key dependent measure, which was whether the men had reported a psychological problem of at least two weeks duration sometime in their life. We compared their results for three groups of men on this measure: those with no CSA prior to age 16, those with consensual CSA, and those with non-consenting CSA. The results were that the consenting group had no more problems than the control group, with a very small effect size (r = .02). However, the non-consenting group had significantly more problems than either of these groups, with an effect size of r = .10 when compared to the control group and a somewhat larger effect size when compared to the consenting group (r = .15). These results, obtained by abuse researchers using a huge non-clinical sample where consent served as an explicit key moderating variable, provide very strong support for the utility of the simple consent construct.


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