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J Sex Med. 2013 Jul;10(7):1764-72. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02875.x. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Early maladaptive schemas and aggressive sexual behavior: a preliminary study with male college students.

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Departamento de Educação, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal.



The influence of adverse early attachment experiences on the development of aggressive sexual behavior has been demonstrated. Nonetheless, there is a gap in the literature regarding the conceptualization of this behavior according to developmental psychopathology models.


The purpose of the present study was to investigate a potential association between Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMSs) and aggressive sexual behavior.


A total of 166 male college students participated in the study. Participants were divided into two comparative groups according to data from the Sexual Experiences Survey-Short Form Perpetration (SES-SFP): Group of individuals with history of aggressive sexual behavior (N = 37) and Group of individuals without history of aggressive sexual behavior (N = 129).


Aggressive sexual behavior was measured by the SES-SFP, and EMSs were measured by the Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ-S3).


Results showed that students who have committed any form of sexually aggressive behavior exhibited significantly higher levels of EMSs from the Disconnection and Rejection domain (namely, Mistrust/Abuse schema), from the Impaired Autonomy and Performance domain (namely, Dependence/Incompetence schema), and from the Overvigilance and Inhibition domain (namely, Negativity/Pessimism schema).


These preliminary findings suggest that the EMSs were associated with aggressive sexual behavior, but further investigation is warranted.


Aggressive Sexual Behavior; Cognitive Factors; Developmental Factors; Early Maladaptive Schemas

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