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Journal of Child Sexual Abuse


Obtaining accurate prevalence rates of sexual violence is made difficult by discrepancies in self-report questionnaires. Thus, the current study sought to explore participants’ perceptions of acceptability (i.e., perceived difficulty and preference) as a potential mechanism of discrepancy between different questionnaires. Participants were 673 college students who completed two frequently used sexual victimization questionnaires, the Sexual Experiences Survey-Short Form Victimization (SES-SFV) and the Post-Refusal Sexual Persistence Scales-Victimization (PRSPS-V). Participants then answered questions about each measure’s perceived difficulty and their preference between the two. Participants found the PRSPS-V easier to understand and preferred it 2.5 to 1 over the SES-SFV. Preference was related to reporting; participants who preferred the PRSPS-V reported more instances of sexual victimization on the PRSPS-V by 9.8%. Our results indicate that acceptability impacts reported prevalence rates and is one mechanism of discrepancy between questionnaires. Thus, researchers may wish to consider acceptability when choosing sexual victimization questionnaires.






This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Child Sexual Abuse on August 2, 2023, available at:

Available for download on Friday, August 02, 2024

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