Written by Dr Jessica Eaton
Director of VictimFocus
Senior Lecturer in Criminal Psychology
1 November 2019
What is token resistance?
‘Token resistance’ is the act of pretending to resist sexual advances when really, you want to say yes.
The term ‘token resistance’ has been used to describe the way women and girls supposedly ‘play hard to get’, ‘act coy’, or ‘play it cool’ when men or boys show them attention or proposition them.
Make no mistake, there is societal pressure on women and girls to do these things to appear chaste, innocent or hard to obtain. They are often advised to ‘play hard to get’ when men or boys they like ask them on a date, ask for their number or come on to them.
Key studies in psychology from the 1990s onwards have shown that both men and women are likely to consider a woman’s rejection of sexual advances…
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