Youth Coercive Sexual Environments Scale

The Youth Coercive Sexual Environment Scale is an 8-item measure of individual experiences of seeing sexual coercion occur or individual experiences of sexual victimization. Different aspects of coercive sexual environments captured by the scale include experience of violence against women and sexual assault.


Geographies Tested: United States of America

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range: Adolescents


CSE Exposure

During the past 12 months how often did each of the following things happen:
1.You saw women or girls who were trading sex or oral sex for money, drugs or other things they wanted?
2.You saw men or boys making unwanted sexual comments or gestures toward girls or women?
3.You saw men or boys touching, grabbing, or pinching girls in a sexual way that they didn't want?
4.You saw men or boys hitting, pushing, slapping, choking, or otherwise physically hurting women or girls?

Response Options:
Never - 0
Once - 1
More than once - 2

CSE Victimization

How often in the past year:
5.Did someone make unwanted sexual comments, jokes, or gestures toward you?
6.Did someone touch, grab or pinch you in a sexual way you that did not want?
7.Did someone spread sexual rumours about you?
8.Did someone email or texted you sexual pictures, photographs, or messages that you did not want?

Response Options:
Happened every day
Happened once or twice a week
Happened a couple of times each month
Happened a couple of times in the past year
Never happened

Scoring Procedures

For the CSE exposure scale (items 1-4), scores from all four items are summed to create a scale total that ranges from 0 to 8, with higher scores indicating a more coercive sexual environment (neighborhood) as experienced by the youth.

Scoring of the CSE victimization subscale (items 5-8) was not specified.

Original Citation

Popkin, S., Hailey, C., Zweig, J., Astone, N., Jordan, R., Gordon, L., & Silverman, J. (2019). Coercive sexual environments: Development and validation of a scale. Journal of interpersonal violence, 34(1), 27-49. doi:10.1177/0886260516639581

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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