Effects of Alcohol Expectancy Set and Individual Alcohol Expectancies on Women's Sexual Decision Making




Gentner, Sarah G.

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Through the theoretical framework of the Cognitive Mediation Model of sexual decision making (CMM; Norris, Masters, & Zawacki, 2004), this study examines the interactive effects of alcohol expectancy set and individual alcohol expectancies on women's intentions to engage in unprotected sex portrayed in an experimental vignette. Alcohol expectancy set was experimentally manipulated through presence or absence of alcohol portrayed within a vignette. Participants' primary and secondary cognitive appraisals of the situation and unprotected sex intentions were assessed as dependent variables during three stopping points in the vignette. Results of conditional process analysis showed an indirect relation between women's sexual alcohol expectancies and unprotected sex intentions through the mediators, primary cognitive appraisals and secondary cognitive appraisals, as theorized by the CMM. Additionally, this relation was moderated by alcohol expectancy set, in that, for women who read the vignette that portrayed alcohol consumption there was a significant effect of sexual alcohol expectancies on the dependent variables, while for those who read the vignette with non-alcoholic beverages there was not a significant effect found. These findings fill a gap in the alcohol expectancy literature and hold implications for interventions to improve women's sexual decision making in risky situations.


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Alcohol expectancy set, Women's sexual decision making, Cognitive mediation model