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Since softened and couched refusals are how refusals are typically issued in conversation, that’s how they are usually heard, too.  Reviewing the research, the authors find that people understand refusals to all kinds of offers in pauses, deflections, conditionals or even weak acceptances with certain tones and pauses.  [p. 307-09.]  The authors then draw this conclusion about women communicating refusal:

[Y]oung women responding to unwanted sexual pressure are using absolutely normal conversational patterns for refusals: that is, according to the research literature (and our own data) on young women and sexual communication, they are communicating their refusals indirectly; their refusals rarely refer to their own lack of desire for sex and more often to external circumstances which make sex impossible; their refusals are often qualified (‘maybe later’), and are accompanied by compliments (‘I really like you, but . . .’) or by appreciations of the invitation (‘it’s very flattering of you to ask, but . . .’); and sometimes they refuse sex with the kind of ‘yes’s which are normatively understood as communicating refusal. These features are all part of what are commonly understood to be refusals.

[p.309, emphasis mine.].  That means that they are “communicating in ways which are usually understood to mean refusal in other contexts and it is not the adequacy of their communication that should be questioned, but rather their male partners’ claims not to understand[.]” [pp. 309-310, emphasis mine.]  In support of this proposition, they cite to some things men and boys have said in from other papers  [TRIGGER WARNING for the blockquote -- pro-rape exhortations]:

responded with posters of their own including slogans such as ‘no means kick her in the teeth’, ‘no means on your knees bitch’, ‘no means tie her up’, ‘no means more beer’ and ‘no means she’s a dyke’ (cf. Mahood and Littlewood, 1997). Similar evidence comes from a recent study of 16-year-old boys who were asked ‘if you wanted to have sex and your partner did not, would you try to persuade them to have sex? How?’: the researchers comment that there was ‘clear evidence of aggression towards girls who were not prepared to be sexually accommodating’ and quote interview extracts in which boys say that in such situations they would ‘root the fucking bitch in the fucking arse’, ‘give her a stern talking to’, or just ‘shove it in’ (Moore and Rosenthal, 1992, cited in Moore and Rosenthal, 1993: 179). The problem of sexual coercion cannot be fixed by changing the way women talk.

Mythcommunication: It’s Not That They Don’t Understand, They Just Don’t Like The Answer «

IF you haven't read that by now, DO read it. No matter who you are. It's about communication issues between people who want sex and those who don't.

Reposted frommynnia mynnia
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