Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 6, pp 475–485 | Cite as

Alcohol Consumption and Females’ Recognition in Response to Date Rape Risk: The Role of Sex-Related Alcohol Expectancies

  • Jennifer E. Pumphrey-Gordon
  • Alan M. Gross


This study examined the pharmacological and psychological effects of alcohol on women’s recognition of and response to dating sexual aggression. Female participants completed measures of prior sexual victimization experiences, sex related alcohol expectancies, general alcohol expectancies, and drinking habits. Using a 2 (alcohol) × 2 (expectancy) balanced placebo research design, women were exposed to an audiotape date rape vignette and asked to press a button when the man’s sexual advances had gone to far. Upon pressing the button, the tape was stopped and participants were instructed to imagine themselves in the same situation and generate a response describing what they would say and/or do at that point. Results indicated that although alcohol and expectancy were not related to risk perception, individuals who consumed alcohol displayed significantly less resistant role play refusals. A significant interaction between expectancy set and pre-existing sex-related alcohol expectancies was observed indicating participants believing alcohol affects sexual behavior generated less resistant refusal responses when they expected to receive alcohol. Moreover, for those who expected to receive alcohol, stronger pre-existing sex-related alcohol expectancies predicted less resistant refusal responses over above the effects of blood alcohol level and general alcohol expectancies. The implications of these findings are discussed.


Date rape Alcohol expectancy Alcohol 



This research was supported by a grant from the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MississippiOxfordUSA

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