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Correlations Among Measured Variables. Descriptives of Measured Variables. Alcohol. Dose. .23. Alcohol. Early Sexual Arousal R 2 = .13 p < .001. Dose. .30. .30. Erotophilia. .23. Reasons TO Have Sex Without a Condom. .52. Unprotected Sex (USI) R 2 = .31 p < .001.

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Correlations Among Measured Variables

Descriptives of Measured Variables

Alcohol

Dose

.23

Alcohol

Early

Sexual

Arousal

R2 = .13

p < .001

Dose

.30

.30

Erotophilia

.23

Reasons TO

Have Sex

Without a Condom

.52

Unprotected

Sex (USI)

R2 = .31

p < .001

Likely to

Get Tested

for HIV/STD

R2 = .19

p < .001

Likely to

Get Tested

for HIV/STD

R2 = .19

p < .001

Likely to

Contract

STD/HIV

R2 = .12

p = .002

Likely to

Contract

STD/HIV

R2 = .10

p = .006

Fueling the heat of the moment:

Relationships among erotophilia, alcohol, sexual arousal, cognitions, and sexual risk-taking

Jeanette Norris, Susan A. Stoner, Diane M. Morrison, Tina Zawacki,

William H. George, Kelly Cue Davis, Danielle M. Hessler, and Kristin A. MarianoAlcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

Introduction

Results

  • Prior research has identified a number of individual differences and situational variables that appear to foster sexual risk-taking, including erotophilia, alcohol intoxication and sexual arousal.
  • Despite the prominence of cognitive-behavioral approaches in psychology, little work has examined the role of cognitions in sexual behavior, particularly sexual risk-taking.
  • Norris, Zawacki, and Masters (2004) proposed a cognitive mediation model of women’s sexual decision-making.
  • This study investigated whether cognitions mediate effects of erotophilia, alcohol intoxication, and sexual arousal on likelihood of sexual risk-taking, perceived risk of contracting HIV, and likelihood of getting tested.

Method

  • Participants
  • N = 163 women, age 21-35 (mean = 25.0, SD = 3.9), recruited from the community
  • All were sexually experienced and active alcohol drinkers (reported drinking > 1 drink/week)
  • Not currently involved in an exclusive relationship, but interested in dating men
  • 64% White, 2% Asian-American/PI, 15% African-American, 11% Latina, 12% Multiracial, 6% Other
  • 33.7% were students, 63.2% were employed
  • Procedure
  • Background Questionnaires
  • Sexual Opinion Survey (Fisher et al., 1988), measure of erotophilia
  • Beverage Administration
  • Control, placebo (expected BAC=.04), moderate (BAC=.04), or high (BAC=.08)
  • Experimental Story
  • Dating scenario written in the second person (participant as protagonist)
  • Depicted an escalating romantic encounter involving consensual sexual activity
  • New partner (Nick) of unknown sex history and no condom available
  • Drinking in the story was matched to participants’ expected alcohol consumption: couple was drinking vs. not drinking alcohol
  • Narrative was paused at multiple points to measure participants’ responses
  • Dependent Variables
  • Sexual Arousal
    • 4 items, rated 0 not at all to 6 extremely
      • How sexually excited do you feel?
      • How much sensation do you feel in your genitals (such as tingling, warmth, lubrication)?
      • How much sensation do you feel in your breasts?
      • How sexually aroused do you feel?
    • Measured at 3 points during the story
      • After Nick first kisses her on the cheek (early),  = .92
      • After making out and petting (intermediate),  = .95
      • After the couple has disrobed but no condom is available (late),  = .95
  • Pros and Cons of Having Sex Without a Condom
    • Participants were asked, “How much would you consider each of the following in deciding what to do next – given that there is no condom available?”
    • Rated 0 would not consider at all to 6 would consider extremely
    • Reasons TO have sex without a condom (PROS)
      • 16 items, e.g. It will feel better for him not to use a condom,  = .89
    • Reasons NOT to have sex without a condom (CONS)
      • 16 items, e.g. I could get an STD,  = .89
  • Likelihood of Engaging in Unprotected Sexual Intercourse (USI)
    • Rated 0 definitely unlikely to 6 definitely likely,  = .79
    • Measured after it became clear no condom was available
    • How likely are you to…
      • rub your clitoris against Nick’s penis WITHOUT a condom?
      • allow Nick to put his penis inside your vagina WITHOUT

a condom?

  • Likelihood of Contracting an STD/HIV
    • 2 items, rated 0 definitely unlikely to 6 definitely likely,  = .84
  • Likelihood of Getting Tested for STD/HIV
    • 2 items, rated 0 definitely unlikely to 6 definitely likely,  = .93

Path Analyses Using Multiple Regression

Alcohol

Alcohol

Early

Sexual

Arousal

R2 = .13

p < .001

Dose

Dose

Erotophilia

.23

.23

Early

Early

.30

.30

Sexual

Sexual

-.24

Erotophilia

Erotophilia

Arousal

Arousal

Reasons NOT to

Have Sex

Without a Condom

R2 = .05, p = .036

R

= .13,

< .001

R

= .13,

< .001

p

p

2

2

-

.24

Reasons NOT to

Reasons TO to

Reasons TO

-

.25

-

.25

Have Sex Despite

Have Sex Despite

-.25

-.25

-.44

Lack of a Condom

Lack of a Condom

Unprotected

Sex (USI)

R2 = .22

p < .001

R

= .05,

= .036

R

= .05,

= .036

p

p

2

2

-

.44

.52

Unprotected

Unprotected

.19

.19

Sex

Sex (USI)

R

= .22,

< .001

R

R

= .31,

< .001

< .001

p

p

p

2

2

2

Likely to

Likely to

Likely to

Likely to

.34

.34

.35

.35

Contract

Get Tested

Contract

Get Tested

STD/HIV

for STD/HIV

STD/HIV

for STD/HIV

R

= .12,

= .002

R

= .19,

< .001

R

= .10,

= .006

R

= .19,

< .001

p

p

p

p

2

2

2

2

Conclusions

  • Findings suggest that erotophilia and alcohol intoxication foster early
  • sexual arousal, but not intermediate or later arousal, which in turn
  • fosters disregard of reasons against unprotected sex.
    • This is problematic because reasons against unprotected sex decrease
  • intentions to engage in USI.
      • Notably, in neither model did likelihood of USI predict the likelihood
      • of either contracting an STD or of getting tested.
      • HIV/STD prevention programs could benefit from educating
      • participants about the roles of alcohol and sexual arousal in sexual
      • risk-taking, emphasizing reasons against having USI, and increasing
      • awareness of the risk of contracting HIV/STDs as a result of
      • unprotected sex.

Supported by National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) Grant #AA014512, Jeanette Norris, P.I.