Effects of alcohol and blood alcohol concentration limb on sexual risk-taking intentions

Kelly Cue Davis, William H. George, Jeanette Norris, Rebecca L. Schacht, Susan A. Stoner, Christian S. Hendershot, Kelly F. Kajumulo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objective: Although there have been numerous investigations of alcohol's relationship to sexual risk taking, the vast majority of these studies have not examined whether the biphasic nature of alcohol intoxication differentially influences risky sexual decisions. Thus, a laboratory study was conducted to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limb on sexual risk-taking intentions. Method: Participants (N = 150; 51.3% male) were randomly assigned to consume alcoholic drinks (target peak BAC = .08%) or nonalcoholic drinks and then completed a hypothetical sexual risk assessment involving an opposite-gender new partner while on either the ascending BAC limb or descending BAC limb. Results: Alcohol intoxication resulted in increased sexual risk-taking intentions indirectly through its influence on perceived intoxication and, subsequently, sexual arousal. An interaction of beverage condition and BAC limb condition indicated that alcohol's effects on perceived intoxication varied significantly by limb, with those on the ascending limb reporting greater perceived intoxication than those on the descending limb. Conclusions: Findings suggest that future research and prevention efforts would be better informed through a more comprehensive consideration of BAC limb effects on sexual risk behaviors. Moreover, results indicate that prevention programs should address in-the-moment states, such as perceived intoxication and sexual arousal, in interventions targeting risky sexual decision-making processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-507
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of studies on alcohol and drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of alcohol and blood alcohol concentration limb on sexual risk-taking intentions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this