The Dark Tetrad in Relationships: Sexual Coaxing, Sexual Coercion and Rape Myth Acceptance


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Research has linked the Dark Tetrad to the perpetration of sexual violence. However, while sexual violence is predominantly perpetrated by those known to the victim, little research has looked at the impact of the Dark Tetrad in the context of intimate relationships. The present study aimed to explore the relationship between the Dark Tetrad, attitudes toward sexual coaxing and sexual coercion, and Rape Myth acceptance, while measuring the effects of relationship. Pearson's r correlations, independent sample t-tests, regressions and mediation analyses were conducted on a sample of N = 461 participants from the general population. Results show a gender difference, with women reporting more lenient attitudes toward coercive or coaxing behaviours, and men presenting more dark traits and endorsing more Rape Myths. Furthermore, relationships were established between sadism, psychopathy, and coercive attitudes. This study expands our understanding of the correlates of sexual violence, enabling the design of prevention programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Sexual Aggression
Early online date23 May 2024
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2024


  • Dark Tetrad
  • Sexual Coercion
  • Rape Myths
  • Relationship
  • Sexual Violence


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