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Women's Awareness of and Discomfort with Sexual Assault Cues: Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Relationship Type

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 15 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 1106-1125
Kelly Cue Davis; Susan A. Stoner; Jeanette Norris; William H. George; N. Tatiana Masters
Date Published
September 2009
20 pages
This study examined the effects of alcohol and relationship type on women's sexual risk perception.
Findings indicate that alcohol may increase women's sexual victimization assault likelihood. Researchers conducted two studies to examine the effects of alcohol consumption and relationship type on women's awareness of and feelings of discomfort with sexual assault risk cues. Study data indicated that a moderate dose of alcohol interfered with recognition of ambiguous risk cues. Sober women become increasingly uncomfortable as risk cues become more clear, but intoxicated women showed no such increase in discomfort. Because intoxicated women are less likely than sober women to perceive risk early in the situation when cues are typically ambiguous, they may also be less likely to take precautions early in the dating episode, thereby increasing their vulnerability to sexual assault. In study 1, data were collected from 62 women average age of 22 from a large western university. In study 2, 351 women age 21 to 35 were recruited from the same university and the community. Tables, figure, note, and references