Psychological insecurities within dating and relationships
The tendency for women to define their sexuality within the context of the intimate relationship, or as secondary to that of their male partners, means that the quality of interpersonal functioning within the relationship may directly serve to strengthen or undermine women's sexual self-perceptions.
Women with more positive sexual schema tended to view themselves as romantic or passionate and as open to sexual relationship experiences.
Such changes may be most evident during times of upheaval and instability.
Indeed, Rao, Hammen, and Daley (1999) found that young people's vulnerability to developing negative self-perceptions in general (e.g., depressive affect) increased during the transition from high school to college, as they coped with the insecurities that emanate from developmental challenges.
The presence of sexual violence may also interact with physical abuse to undermine well-being (Bennice, Resick, Mechanic, & Astin, 2003).
Much of the research in this respect has focused on the effects of date rape (Kuffel & Katz, 2002).
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Of particular interest were women's self-perceptions over the course of their first year at university.