The proposed project is a competing renewal of R01AA014512 and will continue a program of research concerned with alcohol's effects on women's sexual decision making. The original project applied a cognitive mediation model to understanding alcohol's effects, in conjunction with other contextual and background factors, on women's risky sexual decisions in the context of consensual sex with a first-time or former male partner. Alcohol consumption puts women at risk for both sexual coercion and unprotected consensual sex, especially in new and casual relationships. Being sexually coerced and having unprotected sex can share characteristics, particularly when a male partner resists using a condom. Men may use a variety of coercive tactics to obtain sex, ranging from verbal and psychological pressure to physical force, and may use similar tactics to obtain unprotected sex. These are cognitively and emotionally complex situations, and the ability to judge them and respond effectively can be especially difficult if a woman is intoxicated. Understanding in-the- moment processes affecting women's decisions while intoxicated is critical to informing prevention efforts. The proposed project will examine relationships among alcohol consumption, a partner's pressure or coercion to obtain unprotected sex, and women's sexual decisions, focusing on new and casual partners. It will draw on four theoretical lines: 1) the Cognitive Mediation Model of Sexual Decision Making (Norris et al., 2004), which examines the extent to which cognitive appraisals mediate the influence of background and situational factors on emotional responses and sexual outcomes;2) Alcohol Myopia Theory (Taylor &Leonard, 1983), which explicates the influence of alcohol-related cognitive impairment on behavior;3) the Appraisal-Disruption Model (Sayette, 1993), which addresses alcohol's cognitive impairment effects on emotional responding;and 4) Alcohol Expectancy Theory (Goldman, 1999;MacAndrew &Edgerton, 1969), which describes how alcohol influences behavior through cultural and individual expectations about alcohol's effects. The proposed research will include a laboratory-based alcohol administration experiment to establish causal connections between manipulated situational factors, including alcohol consumption, and cognitive appraisals, emotional responses, and in-the-moment sexual decisions. It will also employ a longitudinal survey to examine how these in-the- moment sexual decisions translate to actual sexual situations. Structural equation modeling will be used to examine background and situational factors, as well as situation-based cognitive and emotional mediators, as predictors of in-the-moment sexual decisions. Background and situational models will be examined using longitudinal data analytic techniques, including survival analysis, latent transition analysis, and growth curve modeling.

Public Health Relevance

Alcohol consumption puts women at risk for risky sexual decisions and sexual coercion. The proposed project will examine this major public health concern by studying the influence of alcohol on women's sexual decision making in coercive and consensual situations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Application #
Study Section
Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section (RPIA)
Program Officer
Roach, Deidra
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University of Washington
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Parkhill, Michele R; Norris, Jeanette; Davis, Kelly Cue (2014) The role of alcohol use during sexual situations in the relationship between sexual revictimization and women's intentions to engage in unprotected sex. Violence Vict 29:492-505
Davis, Kelly Cue; Stappenbeck, Cynthia A; Norris, Jeanette et al. (2014) Young men's condom use resistance tactics: a latent profile analysis. J Sex Res 51:454-65
Masters, N Tatiana; George, William H; Davis, Kelly Cue et al. (2014) Women's unprotected sex intentions: roles of sexual victimization, intoxication, and partner perception. J Sex Res 51:586-98
Norris, Jeanette; Kiekel, Preston A; Morrison, Diane M et al. (2013) How Do Alcohol and Relationship Type Affect Women's Risk Judgment of Partners with Differing Risk Histories? Psychol Women Q 37:209-223
Gilmore, Amanda K; George, William H; Nguyen, Hong V et al. (2013) Influences of situational factors and alcohol expectancies on sexual desire and arousal among heavy-episodic drinking women: acute alcohol intoxication and condom availability. Arch Sex Behav 42:949-59
Stappenbeck, Cynthia A; Norris, Jeanette; Kiekel, Preston A et al. (2013) Patterns of alcohol use and expectancies predict sexual risk taking among non-problem drinking women. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 74:223-32
Davis, Kelly Cue; Kiekel, Preston A; Schraufnagel, Trevor J et al. (2012) Men's alcohol intoxication and condom use during sexual assault perpetration. J Interpers Violence 27:2790-806
Nguyen, Hong V; Koo, Kelly H; Davis, Kelly Cue et al. (2012) Risky sex: interactions among ethnicity, sexual sensation seeking, sexual inhibition, and sexual excitation. Arch Sex Behav 41:1231-9
Norris, Jeanette (2011) "Fresh" Thoughts on Studying Sexual Assault. Psychol Women Q 35:369-374
George, William H; Davis, Kelly Cue; Heiman, Julia R et al. (2011) Women's sexual arousal: effects of high alcohol dosages and self-control instructions. Horm Behav 59:730-8

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