Journal of Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 26 Issue 1 (January 1996), Pages 1-94

The Role of Alcohol and Gender in Choices and Judgments About Hypothetical Sexual Encounters (pages 20-30)

The goal of this study was to explore the process by which sexual situations that involve alcohol are negotiated. A scenario depicting a drinking situation involving potential sexual activity was constructed and converted into a text‐based interactive computer game, in which alcohol consumption of the subject and partner roles was varied. The program included a number of points at which the subject's response determined the subsequent course of action. At these choice points, questions were asked about perceptions of sexual interest and nervousness. The results showed strong gender differences in subjects' choices, judgments, and feelings throughout the hypothetical encounter, with men much more likely to choose responses leading to sexual activity and to express more attraction and sexual desire throughout. Alcohol interacted with gender such that among women, those in drinking scenarios were more likely than those in nondrinking scenarios to choose to have sex at the end of the scenario; this effect was not seen in male subjects.

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