Effects of relationship motivation, partner familiarity, and alcohol on women's risky sexual decision making

Tina Zawacki, Jeanette Norris, Danielle M. Hessler, Diane M. Morrison, Susan A. Stoner, William H. George, Kelly Cue Davis, Devon A. Abdallah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

This experiment examined the effects of women's relationship motivation, partner familiarity, and alcohol consumption on sexual decision making. Women completed an individual difference measure of relationship motivation and then were randomly assigned to partner familiarity condition (low, high) and to alcohol consumption condition (high dose, low dose, no alcohol, placebo). Then women read and projected themselves into a scenario of a sexual encounter. Relationship motivation and partner familiarity interacted with intoxication to influence primary appraisals of relationship potential. Participants' primary and secondary relationship appraisals mediated the effects of women's relationship motivation, partner familiarity, and intoxication on condom negotiation, sexual decision abdication, and unprotected sex intentions. These findings support a cognitive mediation model of women's sexual decision making and identify how individual and situational factors interact to shape alcohol's influences on cognitive appraisals that lead to risky sexual decisions. This knowledge can inform empirically based risky sex interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)723-736
Number of pages14
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume35
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Alcohol myopia
  • Cognitive appraisals
  • Relationships
  • Sexual risk taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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