Predictors of sexual coercion among a cohort of Medunsa undergraduate students
Mathildah Mpata Mokgatle
Background: Sexual coercion is a well-documented area of research in developed countries. However, this problem is not adequately addressed South Africa, particularly in settings like colleges and university campuses. The study aimed to investigate the predictors of sexual coercion among female undergraduate students at the University of Limpopo; Medunsa Campus, South Africa. Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study using the Sexual Experience Survey (SES) tool administered to 335 female students registered for the 2010 academic year. Results: Almost a third (28.7%) of the students experienced sexual coercion which is slightly closer to the international prevalence of 25%. Types of sexual coercion acts included attempted verbal coercion, verbal coercion, date rape, attempted rape, and rape. Date rape was the least unwanted sexual act (2%) experienced by respondents and the highest was rape at 10.7%. Sample mean age was 21 years with the age of 17 to 47 years was more than expected because of the MBCHB program (min period 7yrs). In this study majority of perpetrators of rape were not intimate partners and we found age was not associated with sexual coercion at Medunsa Campus both within the past 12 months and since the age of 14 years. For the students who reside on campus, the odds of being a victim of attempted verbal coercion was 2.085 compared to those students who reside off campus. Conclusion: Sexual assaults in the university campuses are endemic. Attention needs to be given to rape as it is the most frequent unwanted sexual act experienced by female undergraduate students at Medunsa Campus.