Emerging scientific evidence demonstrates that men’s use of sexual coercion/violence (SCV) against women plays a critical role in risky sexual decision-making processes. Moreover, independent streams of research implicate alcohol intoxication in both violent and risky sexual behavior. Although the linkages among heterosexual women’s alcohol use, SCV victimization, and sexual risk have received modest research consideration, the interplay of heterosexual men’s alcohol intoxication, SCV perpetration, and risky sexual behavior has received little empirical attention. The overarching objectives of this research are 1) to augment our understanding of the alcohol-SCV-risky sexual behavior nexus through an empirical examination of the influence of men’s alcohol intoxication on their commission of risky and violent sexual behaviors and 2) to investigate the effects of alcohol intoxication and SCV history on men’s responses to a variety of women’s condom use requests. Drawing upon Alcohol Myopia Theory, Alcohol Expectancy Theory, and the Theories of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior (TRA/TPB), two experiments investigate the influence of alcohol [Sober, Placebo (expect .04%), Moderate Dose (.04%), and High Dose (.08%)] and SCV-related factors on high risk men’s outcome and normative beliefs, attitudes, norms, perceived behavioral control, and intentions regarding condom use resistance, unprotected sex, and SCV perpetration in a hypothetical sexual situation with a female partner. Female partner condom request factors, such as risk rationale (Experiment 1) and condom request style (Experiment 2), are also manipulated between subjects. The role of background factors, such as SCV history, SCV-related attitudes, and alcohol expectancies, are also assessed. We hypothesize that acute alcohol intoxication, as well as SCV-related factors, will influence TRA/TPB-related constructs and that measurement of these constructs in an intoxicated state will best predict real-world intoxicated sexual risk behavior as examined through 6-week and 3-month follow-up behavioral surveys of experiment participants. Findings from the proposed research will refine TRA/TPB models of risky and violent sexual behavior in three important ways: (1) by examining the influence of alcohol and SCV-related factors on relevant social cognitive constructs, (2) by allowing a novel examination of these TRA/TPB constructs in the context of in-the-moment intoxicated vs. sober states, and (3) by assessing the effects of condom request factors on men’s condom use resistance and risky/violent sexual intentions. Findings have implications for preventions programs and clinical interventions, particularly those regarding alcohol-influenced risky sexual behavior and sexual violence.
National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
03/10/09 – 03/31/14
William George (UW Psychology) Jeanette Norris (UW Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute).