Impersonal Sexual Orientation and Gender Contribute Differently to Sexual Interest Perception as Revealed within an Alcohol Experiment




Zheng, Wenqi

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Gender differences and acute alcohol consumption are two well-established predictors for overperception of sexual interest (Abbey et al., 2000; Lindgren et al., 2008). Previous research has also shown that impersonal sexual orientation (ISO) facilitates men's and women's overinterpretation of partner's sexual intentions (Lee et al., 2020). The current study extended these findings to examine how individual's ISO and gender each interact with alcohol consumption as risk factors for increased sexual interest perception. Sixty-six males and 66 females were recruited and randomly assigned into alcohol and no-alcohol conditions to participate in a 10-minute conversation with an opposite-sex confederate who was trained to behave in a standard manner. As result, participant's levels of ISO, gender, and alcohol intoxication each predicted a higher perception of the interacting confederate's sexual interest (PCSI). And alcohol intoxication interacted with gender strengthening men's, but not women's, PCSI. And contrary to my hypothesis, the ISO by alcohol interaction was not found, suggesting disparate contributions of ISO and gender to sexual interest perception. These findings hold implications for theories regarding sexual interest perception and interventions to reduce unwanted sexual experiences.


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Beverages, Sex crimes, Bias, Social psychology, Sexuality, Alcohol, Gender, Impersonal sexual orientation, Sexual attitude, Sexual perception