WOMEN'S RESPONSES TO UNWANTED SEXUAL ADVANCES: THE ROLE OF ALCOHOL AND INHIBITION CONFLICT

Authors


  • Kelly Cue Davis, William H. George, Department of Psychology, University of Washington. Jeanette Norris, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington.

  • This study was supported by Grant AA13565 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to the second author and was conducted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree for the first author. Portions of this article were presented at the 2000 meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kelly Davis, University of Washington, Department of Psychology, Box 351525, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail: kcue@u.washington.edu

Abstract

In this study we investigated how alcohol consumption affects women's responses to unwanted sexual advances in a hypothetical dating situation. Sixty female social drinkers participated in a 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment, which examined the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication and relationship characteristics on behavioral responses to unwanted sexual advances. Hypotheses were tested regarding the influence of inhibition conflict on intoxicated participants. As predicted, intoxicated women were more likely than sober women to consent to their dating partner's sexual advances in high conflict situations. Additionally, alcohol consumption increased women's estimated likelihood of responding passively. These findings aid in explicating the relationship between alcohol consumption and women's increased vulnerability to sexual assault.

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