Gender stereotypes exist such that men are thought to be the initiators of sex, whereas women are thought to be the gatekeepers (those that accept or reject a sexual initiation). Research suggests that exceptions exist to these gender roles. The present study examined men's and women's experiences in situations in which they were with someone who seemed interested in having sex, but they did not let sex happen. Two situations were examined in which the participant (a) had never had sex with the other person before and (b) had had sex with the other person before. In the second situation, out of those who had engaged in intercourse, significantly more women than men reported gatekeeping. However, men and women often did not differ in their reported prevalence and incidence of gatekeeping. Gender similarities and differences in the characteristics of these gatekeeping scenarios, and the implications of these findings, are discussed.
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