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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228740 Find in a Library
Title: College Students' Perceptions About Alcohol and Consensual Sexual Behavior: Alcohol Leads to Sex
Journal: Journal of Drug Education  Volume:39  Issue:1  Dated:2009  Pages:1-21
Author(s): Kristen P. Lindgren; David W. Pantalone; Melissa A. Lewis; William H. George
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 21
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study used focus groups to examine 14 male and 15 female college undergraduates’ perceptions of the associations between alcohol use and consensual sex.
Abstract: Both men and women reported a strong link between consuming alcohol and engaging in sexual behavior. The specific mechanisms underlying how alcohol led to sex varied, but the findings consistently showed that college students drank, or went to settings in which drinking occurred, in order to find a sex partner. Both men and women suggested that the effects of alcohol lowered the priority given personal morals or values while reducing inhibitions on sexual arousal. In addition to the aforementioned perceptions of both the men and women in the focus groups, there were also perceptions of the association between alcohol use and sex that were distinguished by gender. For men, drinking resulted in decreased inhibitions and increased the likelihood they would make more direct sexual comments to women. Men also expressed mostly positive feelings about the ways in which alcohol affected their dating and sex lives. They enjoyed the freedom that came with the decreased inhibitions associated with alcohol and appreciated the benefits of pursuing women more directly due to the effects of alcohol. They did note two drawbacks to having sex under the influence of alcohol, however; i.e., it might result in ongoing expectations from the sexual partner that are unwanted and that he might continue the relationship out of feelings of guilt. For the women, alcohol effects provided an excuse for more aggressive desired sexual activity; however, the women also expressed fears about the dangers of drinking alcohol in the company of men, including being raped by aggressive men under the influence of alcohol, being less able to resist men’s unwanted sexual advances, and developing the reputation of being “easy” or “slutty.” 44 references
Main Term(s): Underage Drinking
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; Drug effects; Gender issues; Sexual behavior; Social conditions
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