Acute Alcohol Intoxication & Sexual Risk Likelihood: Exploring Cultural Factors
Eakins, Danielle Roux
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Acute Alcohol Intoxication & Sexual Risk Likelihood: Exploring Cultural Factors Danielle R. Eakins Chair of the Supervisory Committee: William H. George, Ph.D. Psychology Factors affecting women's engagement in risky sexual behaviors remain a significant research focus with women comprising the majority of cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Additionally, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in women of color (WOC) is up to twenty times that of white women (WW). Previous research demonstrates that while alcohol intoxication is a risk factor for risky sex, risk perception and ethnic identity (in both WOC and WW) may be protective. The current study examines 1) if acute alcohol intoxication affects sexual risk 2) the association of sexual risk with race/ethnicity, ethnic identity and risk perception and 3) whether risk perception mediates the impact of alcohol and race on sexual risk. Participants included 390 women, dichotomized into WOC (35%) and WW (65%), who completed race/ethnicity demographics and the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure and were randomly assigned to alcohol (.10 BAC) or no alcohol conditions. Afterwards, they were instructed to project themselves into an eroticized text scenario assessing risky sex likelihood (comprised of oral sex, vaginal sex and abdication likelihood). Path analysis indicated that intoxicated women endorsed higher sexual risk behavior likelihood; WOC endorsed lower sexual risk behavior likelihood, which was mediated by risk perception; and that, as ethnic identity increased, sexual risk likelihood decreased in WW. The results support previous research and add to the literature a novel application of alcohol administration and heat-of-the-moment risk scenarios to dynamically examine risk and protective factors related to culture and drinking.
- Psychology