Sexual assertiveness and women’s full, empowered participation in sexual decision making are clearly restricted. Each of the factors discussed here—gender expectations, social controls, childhood victimization, and the various sources of dependence on men—can be conceptualized indi­vidually, but operate in an interactive manner to limit women’s sexual autonomy. Nevertheless, these factors do not determine negative outcomes for all women. A factor akin to hardiness may explain why many women, despite dismal cultural messages objectifying and demeaning women’s sex­uality, are able to express their own sexual interests, bargain effectively with partners for what they want sexually, and feel satisfied with their sexual expression.