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The female drinker: Is she perceived as promiscuous?

By Roz Howling


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.In almost half of all sexual assaults alcohol is consumed by the perpetrator, the victim, or both. One perspective holds that alcohol contributes to sexual assault, simply because of its presumed effects. One expectation that has been linked to the likelihood of sexual aggression is the belief that females who drink alcohol are promiscuous. Experimental evidence suggests that this association may be implicit. The present study set out to investigate whether a females sexual availability would be automatically (implicitly) perceived from her drink. Eighty sober and intoxicated participants conveniently sampled from three public houses completed a lexical decision task. A 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 analysis of variance revealed that participants made faster lexical decisions concerning promiscuity-related words following primes of females drinking alcohol compared with primes of females drinking water. This effect was reversed for chastity-related words. Intoxicated participants had faster response times than sober participants, suggesting that the expectancy effect is facilitated by alcohol consumption. However, this interaction effect was not found for alcohol-related and neutral primes presented without the female. The findings demonstrated that a female’s sexual availability was automatically perceived from her drinking. This association may be one pathway by which alcohol expectancies contribute to sexual assault.University of Leiceste

Year: 2010
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