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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. Sexually victimized women may make sexual decisions differently than non-victimized women. After random asment to an alcohol or control condition, participants read and projected themselves into a sexual scenario which depicted the male partner as having high or low potential for a lasting relationship.
Participants rated their perceptions of his intoxication, STI risk level, and anticipated reactions to insistence on condom use. They then indicated their likelihood of allowing the partner to decide how far to go sexually abdication and engaging in unprotected sex.
SEM analyses revealed that intoxication predicted greater unprotected sex likelihood indirectly via abdication. Infection risk can be reduced through the use of male condoms. However, because women do not wear condoms themselves, their successful condom use often hinges on asking for and getting the cooperation of male partners; difficulty with either may make unprotected sex more likely. Data from both survey and experimental studies indicate that victimized women may perceive and respond to sexual situations differently than non-victimized women and may do so in ways that lead to riskier sexual decisions.
One proposed explanation for the relationship between victimization history and sexual risk is that emotional reactions to abuse or assault, such as fear, can decrease self-protective behaviors such as assertive condom negotiation and result in unprotected sex Quina, Morokoff, Harlow, and Zurbriggen, Another explanation focuses on changes in cognition after abuse or assault that result in victimized women perceiving less risk in unprotected sexual behavior than non-victimized women Smith, Davis, and Fricker-Elhai, Experiments have assessed in-the-moment unprotected sex intentions with scenarios in which participants project themselves into an eroticized consensual encounter.
Using this methodology, Schacht et al. Likewise, Stoner et al. Victimized women overall tend to drink differently than non-victimized women e. It states that the association between sexual victimization and alcohol is most likely bidirectional. Victimization in childhood or early adulthood may lead to risky behavior such as drinking to cope or heavy drinking, and these behaviors in turn Women wants casual sex Angela increase likelihood of subsequent sexual assault Ullman, Although alcohol appears to have a global association with unprotected sex, in that individuals who drink to intoxication use condoms less frequently overall than those who do not, event-level diary studies e.
Leigh et al. However, recent theory-building longitudinal work by Cooper supports the idea that contextual factors, along with individual characteristics, affect the relationship between alcohol and unsafe sex. And experimental studies using in-the-moment scenarios e.
This effect seems more pronounced at higher rather than at lower alcohol dosages George et al. findings e.
George et al. Women who are moderate-to-heavy drinkers tend to believe that alcohol makes men both more sexual and easier to anger Abbey et al.
Findings from alcohol administration experiments contribute mixed evidence regarding intoxication, perceptions of partner STI risk, and unprotected sex decisions. Although intoxicated men and women did not differentiate between high and low STI risk partners, sober individuals reported they would be more likely to date the low risk partner.
In a scenario study that manipulated partner risk level, intoxicated women appraised partners at all risk levels as having higher sexual potential than did Women wants casual sex Angela women Purdie et al. Such appraisals in turn predicted impelling cognitions about sex, which predicted less assertive condom requests and higher unprotected sex intentions.
Women who reported higher emotional attachment, a relationship-related construct, were more likely to refrain from asking a partner to use a condom and to downplay his HIV risk e. These women perceived their boyfriends as lower risk than the men reported themselves to be; they also saw them as lower risk than college students overall. However, while all of these factors occur together naturalistically, no study has yet examined them in combination. The present study did so, evaluating interconnections among these variables in an experiment.
Alcohol intoxication was manipulated in the laboratory, and relationship potential was manipulated in the scenario. Other analyses drawing upon this dataset are reported elsewhere author citation, under review. Participants from an urban community were recruited with Women wants casual sex Angela and print advertisements seeking single female drinkers to participate in a research study on male-female social interactions. Eligible women were between the ages of 21 and 30 years and had at least one experience of heavy episodic drinking 4 or more drinks within two hours and at least one instance of unprotected sex within the past year.
Four hundred forty-eight women participated in the study. The final data set included women; their demographic, victimization history, alcohol consumption, and sexual HIV-risk characteristics are presented in Table 1. Proportions of the sample belonging to each racial or ethnic group roughly matched those of the region in which the study was conducted.
When participants arrived at the laboratory, a trained female experimenter verified that their blood alcohol concentration BAC was 0. Experimenters then reviewed an informed consent document — describing alcohol administration procedures, types of questions that would be asked, content of the scenario, and risks and benefits of participating — with each participant. Each participant was weighed to calculate her alcohol dose and took a urine test to ensure she was not pregnant. Participants completed computerized background questionnaires in a private room. These surveys included questions regarding sexual victimization in childhood and adulthood.
The computer calculated a code to as participants to experimental conditions according to victimization history while keeping this information masked from the experimenter. For group asment purposes, CSA was defined as having experienced any form of sexual contact before age ASA was defined as having experienced sexual contact or attempted or completed oral, vaginal or anal penetration after turning 14 without her consent or when she was too intoxicated to stop what was happening.
Alcohol participants received a beverage consisting of cranberry juice and proof grain alcohol in a 5 to 1 ratio, dosed at 1. Control participants drank an equivalent amount of cranberry juice. Participants in both groups were cognizant of whether they were receiving an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.
Beverages were divided into three equal portions and consumed over a period of 12 minutes. Breathalyzer tests occurred approximately every four minutes until a criterion BAC of. This procedure ensured that participants would be on the ascending limb of the blood alcohol curve for the presentation of the sexual scenario.
After reaching the criterion BAC alcohol participants or completing the yoked of breathalyzers controlsparticipants were left alone in the experiment room to read the experimental scenario. Participants read the written scenario on a computer screen in a private room. For participants in alcohol condition, the protagonist drank alcohol; for those in the control condition, she drank soft drinks. The scenario established that the protagonist had ly had sex with the male character, Michael, that they had used a condom, and that she was on the pill to eliminate pregnancy concerns associated with unprotected sex.
Sexual activity became progressively more heated until both characters were undressed and approaching intercourse. Michael indicated that he would get a condom, but was unable to find one. The sexual activity continued. Do we have to stop now? Participants were provided with a list of 13 sexual acts and asked if any occurred when they were 13 years old or younger. Follow-up questions assessed specific details including relationship to the perpetrator and duration of abuse. We also administered the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire Bernstein et.
The final definition of CSA includes childhood sexual experiences, prior to age 14, that Women wants casual sex Angela a person 3 or more years older, or when involving a person of same age or only 1 or 2 years older, the participant reported 1 the use of coercion, threats, or force; 2 being upset at the time of the experience; 3 having been molested or sexually abused as ; and 4 vaginal or anal penetration at an age prior to that identified by the participant as her age of first consensual sexual intercourse. We modeled child sexual abuse as a latent variable in order to acknowledge the complexity of this phenomenon.
The revised Koss et al. Acts include sexual contact and oral, anal, and vaginal penetration by a penis or object. Tactics used to obtain each act include verbal coercion, incapacitation through alcohol or drugs, and physical force or threat of force. To acknowledge the complexity of sexual assault, we also modeled ASA as a latent variable. Perceived partner STI risk and anticipated negative reaction were allowed to intercorrelate.
We screened data for outliers, skewness, kurtosis, and missingness. Only ASA frequency deviated from normality; because the of times women experienced unwanted completed penetrative acts was ificantly skewed and kurtotic, we capped this variable at 9 to address distributional issues.
Our estimation method was maximum likelihood with robust standard errors, and we employed full information maximum likelihood FIMLstandard with Mplus, to handle rare instances of missing data. Bivariate correlations among the variables in the model, as well as their means and standard deviations, appear in Table 2. Severity of CSA type, duration of CSA, and relationship to the perpetrator were all ificantly associated with perceiving the scenario partner being at higher risk of STIs.
The hypothesized model, including participant background variables and variables manipulated in the laboratory, is shown in Figure 1. A statistically non-ificant chi-square difference test indicated that the fit of the two models was statistically equivalent, so we selected the re-specified model depicted in Figure 2 based on both fit and theoretical criteria. Figure 2 depicts the final model and displays standardized coefficients for ificant paths; standardized estimates for all paths modeled appear in Table 3. Women with a more severe history of childhood victimization viewed Michael as a high STI risk.
Women with more severe histories of adult victimization anticipated stronger negative reactions from him to their refusal of unsafe sex. Intoxicated women perceived the scenario partner as more intoxicated, and they were also more likely to abdicate their decision and allow him to choose how far to go sexually.
High relationship potential was associated with lower levels of perceived partner intoxication, and women who perceived Michael as less intoxicated were less likely to anticipate a negative reaction from him. The more strongly women anticipated a negative reaction from the scenario partner, the more likely they were to abdicate sexual decision-making. As women perceived the partner as being a higher risk for STIs, they were less likely both to abdicate and to intend to engage in unprotected sex.
The largest relationship seen was between abdication and unprotected sex intention; women who expressed higher likelihood of letting the scenario partner decide how far to go sexually were much more likely to intend to have unprotected sex. We also tested the ificance of specific and total indirect effects of CSA, ASA, alcohol, and relationship potential on unprotected sex likelihood; these are summarized below.
Furthermore, once the model was re-specified, we also saw a ificant but non-hypothesized positive relationship between CSA and perceived partner STI risk. Our hypotheses that acute alcohol intoxication would predict greater sexual risk taking both directly 2aand indirectly via the mediating effects of partner perceptions 2cwere not supported; the total indirect path from alcohol to unprotected sex intentions via perceived partner intoxication, anticipated negative response, and abdication was not ificant. Although relationship potential was associated with lower perceived partner intoxication, none of our hypotheses 3a, b, and c about its direct and indirect effects on unprotected sex likelihood were supported.
Three key findings emerged. Second, ASA was associated with anticipating a negative partner reaction to condom insistence; and this anticipation was, in turn, associated with greater likelihood of unprotected sex indirectly via abdication although the test of this total indirect effect only approached ificance.
Generally, these findings advance as well as complicate our understanding of the associations between sexual victimization and unprotected sex, and they cohere with established experimental findings regarding the relationship between alcohol and unprotected sex.
It directly and negatively predicted her intention to have unprotected sex, and it also negatively predicted that she would allow her partner to decide how far to go sexually, which in turn predicted her intention to have unprotected sex. It suggests that a history of CSA may exert some protective influence in certain sexual situations, such that a woman with a CSA history may be likely to see a male partner as a high risk for STI transmission, and to rationally respond with a lower likelihood of having unprotected sex with him, at least in an experimental scenario.
The novelty of this finding means that Women wants casual sex Angela implications should be considered with caution. This finding coheres with past work documenting a connection between sexual assault history in adulthood and unprotected sex Davis Women wants casual sex Angela al.
In the moment, fear of being raped or coerced or yelled at, shamed, or rejected may be far more salient than the possibility of contracting an STI in the future. Women who have experienced sexual assault have good reason to believe that their efforts to make and enforce decisions about sexual behavior will be met with male push-back.
It may lead to women eschewing insistence on condom use, or even making condom requests, at times when male partners would comply or could be persuaded. Our third key finding was that abdication is a major gateway to sexual risk. All the variables in the model influenced unprotected sex intention through abdication. Our findings strongly suggest that if a woman cedes decision making in a sexual situation, she is more likely to proceed with unprotected sex.
The connection between abdication and sexual risk-taking is particularly critical because most women live their lives in a social context that downplays their sexual agency and emphasizes men as sexual decision-makers Gavey, Letting a male partner decide what to do in terms of going ahead with sex without a condom may seem quite natural and normal in this context. However, doing so also puts women at higher risk of all the negative consequences of unprotected sex. Consistent with research George et al. In their model, the interaction of these three factors had a ificant indirect effect on abdication, and abdication was associated with unprotected sex intention, as it was in the current study.
However, by testing the specific path between alcohol condition and abdication likelihood rather than a complex interaction, our study clarifies the link between alcohol intoxication and abdication, and in turn, unprotected sex intention. Alcohol may make a woman more likely to leave decisions about unprotected sex up to her male partner in several ways. This evidence suggesting that alcohol intoxication makes abdication more likely, and that abdication in turn can lead to greater likelihood of unprotected sex, could be an important addition to both types of interventions.
The present study has both strengths and limitations. Strengths include modeling sexual victimization with latent variables, rigorous management of alcohol intoxication, a realistic and immersive experimental scenario, and a community sample. Characterizing both CSA and ASA with multiple indicators begins to represent the complexity of victimization severity more fully than doing so with single-item or dichotomous variables.
Aspects of alcohol intoxication were controlled through procedures involving consistent BAC monitoring, specific BAC criterion starting points, and yoked controls.Women wants casual sex Angela
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Women’s Unprotected Sex Intentions: Roles of Sexual Victimization, Intoxication, and Partner Perception