Understanding the link between men’s alcohol use and sexual violence perpetration: The mediating role of sexual objectification.

Published on Apr 1, 2014in Psychology of Violence
· DOI :10.1037/A0033840
Sarah J. Gervais20
Estimated H-index: 20
(NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln),
David DiLillo43
Estimated H-index: 43
(NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln),
Dennis E. McChargue25
Estimated H-index: 25
(NU: University of Nebraska–Lincoln)
Objective: This study provided a novel consideration of the relations between alcohol consumption, sexual objectification, and sexual violence, because evidence for the links between sexual objectification and alcohol consumption as well as objectification and sexual violence are almost nonexistent in the published literature. We also developed a measure of interpersonal sexual objectification perpetration (ISOS-P) because there are no existing self-report measures of this construct. We hypothesized that these variables would be associated positively and that sexual objectification (including evaluating women’s bodies and making sexual advances toward women) would mediate the relation between alcohol use and sexual violence. Method: To test these possibilities, undergraduate men completed measures assessing their alcohol use, sexual objectification, and sexual violence. Results: Positive relations emerged between alcohol consumption frequency, alcohol consumption quantity, body evaluation, sexual advances, and sexual violence. A path analysis revealed that the combined effect of body evaluation and sexual advances was a significant mediator of the alcohol quantity and sexual violence link. As well, body evaluation was a significant mediator of the alcohol quantity and sexual advances link. Conclusion: This study provides a novel contribution to the literature by developing a measure of sexual objectification perpetration and showing that this construct mediates the frequently documented association between heavy drinking and sexual violence. These findings have implications for the prevention of alcohol-related sexual assault on college campuses.
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