Young Australian adults' beliefs about alcohol's role in sexual aggression and victimisation

Starfelt, Louise C., Young, Ross McD., Palk, Gavan R., & White, Katherine M. (2015) Young Australian adults' beliefs about alcohol's role in sexual aggression and victimisation. Culture, Health & Sexuality : An International Journal for Research, Intervention and Care, 17(1), pp. 104-118.

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Beliefs and misconceptions about sex, gender, and rape have been explored extensively to explain people’s attributions concerning alcohol-involved sexual violence. However, less is known about the specific beliefs that people hold about how alcohol facilitates sexual aggression and victimisation. The present study aimed to identify these alcohol-related beliefs among young Australian adults. Six men and nine women (N = 15; 18-24 years) in focus groups (n = 13) and interviews (n = 2) were asked to discuss the role of alcohol in a hypothetical alcohol-involved rape. Using a consensual qualitative research methodology, the effects of alcohol that were seen to introduce, progress, and intensify risks for rape were: increased confidence; character transformation: impaired cognition; behavioural disinhibition; altered sexual negotiation; enhanced self-centredness; impaired awareness of wrongdoing; increased/decreased sexual assertiveness; and compromised self-protection. Some of the beliefs identified in this study are not currently captured in alcohol expectancy measures which assess people’s beliefs about alcohol’s effects on cognition, emotion, and behaviour. This study’s findings offer a conceptual basis for the development of a new alcohol expectancy measure that can be used in future rape-perception research.

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ID Code: 78302
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Louise Starfelt is the maiden name of Louise Starfelt Sutton
Keywords: Sexual assault, Rape perception, Alcohol, Alcohol expectancy, Australia
DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2014.950984
ISSN: 1464-5351
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Social and Community Psychology (170113)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Routledge
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2014 02:53
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2016 21:01

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