Predicting Sexual Victimization Among College Students in Chile and Turkey: A Cross-Cultural Analysis

  • Isabell SchusterEmail author
  • Barbara Krahé
Original Paper


To address the shortage of cross-cultural research on vulnerability factors of sexual victimization, this two-wave longitudinal study examined predictors of sexual victimization among female and male college students in Chile (N = 1098) and Turkey (N = 885). These two countries were selected based on theoretical considerations regarding religiosity and gender inequality. A path model was tested that conceptualized participants’ risky scripts for consensual sex, risky sexual behavior, sexual self-esteem, refusal assertiveness, and religiosity at T1 as predictors of sexual victimization in the following 12 months, as assessed at T2, mediated through past experiences of sexual victimization. As predicted, more risky sexual scripts were linked to more risky sexual behavior and lower refusal assertiveness, indirectly increasing the odds of sexual victimization in both countries. Lower sexual self-esteem predicted a higher probability of sexual victimization through lower refusal assertiveness as well as through more risky sexual behavior in both the Chilean and Turkish samples. Higher religiosity in Chile, a Christian country, and Turkey, a Muslim country, indirectly predicted a lower vulnerability to sexual victimization through less risky sexual scripts and less risky sexual behavior. In the Turkish sample only, higher religiosity predicted a higher vulnerability to sexual victimization through lower sexual self-esteem. The findings show that risky sexual scripts played a central role in the prediction of sexual victimization in both cultures, which has implications for prevention efforts.


Sexual victimization Sexual scripts Religiosity Chile Turkey 



The study was facilitated by a grant from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes) to the first author. The authors are grateful to Paola Ilabaca Baeza, José Antonio Muñoz-Reyes, and Ezgi Toplu-Demirtaş for their support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Both authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

Approval of the study protocol and all instruments was obtained from the Ethics Committee of the authors’ home university as well as the collaborating universities in Chile and Turkey.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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