Alcohol's direct and indirect effects on men's self-reported sexual aggression likelihood

Jeanette Norris, Kelly Cue Davis, William H. George, Joel Martell, Julia R. Heiman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: This study investigated pathways through which alcohol's direct and indirect expectancy effects and direct physiological effects influenced men's self-reported sexual aggression likelihood after they read a violent pornographic story. The indirect effects of participants' affective responses and cognitive judgments of story characters were also examined. Method: Male social drinkers (N = 135), recruited through newspaper ads in a large western city, were randomly assigned to one of three beverage conditions: alcohol, placebo or control. After completing pretest measures, subjects read a violent pornographic story and reported their sexual arousal, affect, cognitive judgments and sexual aggression likelihood. Results: Pre-existing expectancies operated directly and interactively with alcohol consumption on reported sexual aggression likelihood. The influence of expectancies on sexual aggression likelihood also occurred indirectly through positive affect and cognitive judgments of assailant force and victim enjoyment. Situational consumption effects were influenced by cognitive judgments. The expectation of receiving alcohol indirectly affected sexual aggression likelihood through its effect on perception of the assailant's typicality. Conclusions: Among men who have contact with violent pornography, alcohol can have both direct and indirect effects on reported sexual aggression likelihood. In addition to the presence of situational myopia and expectancy effects, pre-existing expectancies can play a significant role both alone and interactively in affecting this tendency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-695
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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