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Coercive Sexual Experiences, Protective Behavioral Strategies, Alcohol Expectancies and Consumption Among Male and Female College Students

NCJ Number
Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume: 25 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2010 Pages: 1563-1578
Rebekka S. Palmer; Thomas J. McMahon; Bruce J. Rounsaville; Samuel A. Ball
Date Published
September 2010
16 pages
This study examined alcohol use and sexual assault among male and female college students.
Alcohol use and sexual assault on college campuses are highly prevalent and the focus of numerous prevention and intervention efforts. The author's goals were to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between coercive sexual experiences, utilization of protective behavioral strategies and alcohol expectancies and consumption among male and female college students. The study surveyed 370 college students regarding their past year experiences and found that 34 percent of women and 31 percent of men reported unwanted sexual contact, 6 percent of women and 13 percent of men reported engaging in sexually coercive behavior, and 4 percent of women and 9 percent of men reported experiencing both unwanted contact and engaging in sexually coercive behavior. Findings indicated students who experienced unwanted sexual contact reported significant differences in alcohol expectancies. More specifically, those who engaged in sexually coercive behaviors had significantly higher sex-related alcohol expectancies. In addition, recipients of unwanted contact reported higher alcohol consumption used fewer protective strategies when drinking, and experienced more negative consequences due to their alcohol use. Results suggest that campus alcohol and sexual assault prevention efforts should include information on alcohol expectancies and use of protective strategies. (Published Abstract)