Pathways on the sexual violence continuum: A lifestyles theory of victimization in urban nightlife

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While scholars have identified a consistent link between deviant lifestyles and victimization, little research to date has examined how life-course trajectories and lifestyle factors can shape exposure to varied forms of victimization and, in particular, different types of sexual assault. Drawing on interviews with 20 women with active night lives and direct observation of 33 nightlife events, this study employs a feminist pathways conceptual framework to examine how dispositional and lifestyle factors shaped the types of sexual assault reported. Findings indicate that while a number of factors associated with general sexual victimization were shared among those in the sample, the specific types of assault experienced were further conditioned by their individual trajectories in nightlife scenes, substance use histories, cultural taste preferences, as well as distinct aspects of the social contexts where victimization occurred. More broadly, this study suggests that well-established risk factors associated with victimization impact women in different ways and exert their effects uniquely, through the intervention of culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-472
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Crime and Justice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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