Sexual Abuse History, Alcohol Intoxication, and Women’s Sexual Risk Behavior
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Type of Work14 pages
journal articles postprints
Citation of Original PublicationSchacht, R. L., George, W. H., Davis, K. C., Heiman, J. R., Norris, J., Stoner, S. A., & Kajumulo, K. F. (2010). Sexual abuse history, alcohol intoxication, and women's sexual risk behavior. Archives of sexual behavior, 39(4), 898–906. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-009-9544-0
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This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Archives of sexual behavior. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/ s10508-009-9544-0
We examined potential differences in women’s likelihood of sexual risk taking in a laboratory setting based on alcohol intoxication and sexual abuse history. Participants (n = 64) were classified as sexually non-abused (NSA) or as having experienced sexual abuse in childhood only (CSA) or adulthood only (ASA) and randomly assigned to consume alcoholic (.06%, .08%, or .10% target blood alcohol content) or non-alcoholic drinks, after which participants read and responded to a risky sex vignette. Dependent measures included vaginal pulse amplitude, likelihood of engaging in condom use and risky sexual behaviors described in the vignette, self-reported sexual arousal, and mood. NSA and ASA women did not differ on any dependent measures. CSA women reported lower likelihoods of condom use and unprotected intercourse relative to NSA and ASA women. Intoxicated women reported greater sexual arousal, positive mood, and likelihood of risky sex relative to sober women. Intoxicated CSA women reported more likelihood of unprotected oral sex and less likelihood of condom use relative to intoxicated NSA and ASA and sober CSA women. CSA women’s increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be driven by non-condom use and behavioral changes while intoxicated. These findings provide preliminary insight into situational influences affecting CSA women’s increased STI risk.