Explicating the role of sexual coercion and vulnerability: Alcohol expectancies in rape attributions

Starfelt, Louise C., Young, Ross McD., White, Katherine M., & Palk, Gavan R. (2015) Explicating the role of sexual coercion and vulnerability: Alcohol expectancies in rape attributions. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 30(11), pp. 1965-1981.

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Despite evidence suggesting that alcohol expectancies may influence people’s rape perceptions, no study to date has measured context-specific expectancies comprehensively. This study represents an initial investigation of the role of sexual coercion and vulnerability alcohol expectancies in young Australian adults’ rape blame attributions. Using a vignette method, it was hypothesised that participants’ stronger expectancy endorsement would predict lesser perpetrator blame and greater victim blame. Participants (N = 210; 34.9% males; 18-25 years) read a hypothetical rape scenario and rated dimensions of blameworthiness attributed to the intoxicated sexual perpetrator and victim. Participants completed the Sexual Coercion and Sexual Vulnerability sub-scales of the Drinking Expectancy Sexual Vulnerabilities Questionnaire for the targets self, men, and women in addition to measures of traditional gender role attitudes and rape myth acceptance. Hierarchical multiple regressions revealed that, as expected, stronger sexual coercion expectancy predicted lower perpetrator blame and greater victim blame. Self-oriented expectancy predicted evaluations of the perpetrator whereas other-oriented expectancy predicted victim evaluations. These effects were robust after controlling for gender role attitudes and rape myth acceptance. Alcohol expectancies appear to be part of a network of beliefs and attitudes which perpetuate biased rape attributions and may be useful to challenge in altering rape perceptions.

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ID Code: 78303
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Louise Starfelt is the maiden name of Louise Starfelt Sutton
Keywords: Alcohol, Alcohol expectancy, Rape, Attribution, Blame
DOI: 10.1177/0886260514549466
ISSN: 1552-6518
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 Sage Publications, Inc.
Deposited On: 03 Nov 2014 02:42
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2016 14:47

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