Drinking Motivations and Experiences of Unwanted Sexual Advances Among Undergraduate Students

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adolescent victims, sexual advances, sexual assault


This study examined the relationship between drinking motivations and college students' experiences with unwanted sexual advances. Undergraduates, from a public university in the mid-Atlantic region, who reported recent (30 day) alcohol use ( n = 289) completed an online survey midway through the spring 2007 academic semester. Experiencing an unwanted sexual advance was the outcome of interest for the present study. The independent variables included sociodemographics and a three-factor (social ease, social image or reputation, emotional distress) drinking motivation measure. Prevalence estimates as well as unadjusted and adjusted odds ratios (OR) were produced. A strong relationship was found between having an unwanted sexual advance and recent binge drinking as well as drinking to remove emotional distress (OR = 3.40 and 2.73, respectively, for the total sample; OR = 7.27 and 2.82 for females). Findings suggest that experiencing an unwanted sexual advance is associated with specific drinking motivations and more likely to occur among females. Further research is needed to fully understand pathways and implications.

Recommended Citation

Novik, Melinda G., Donna E. Howard, and Bradley O. Boekeloo. "Drinking motivations and experiences of unwanted sexual advances among undergraduate students." Journal of interpersonal violence 26, no. 1 (2011): 34-49.

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