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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2015 Jul;76(4):507-15.

Do Drinking Episodes Contribute to Sexual Aggression Perpetration in College Men?

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Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.



Survey and experimental analog studies suggest that alcohol consumption contributes to perpetration of sexual aggression. However, few studies have considered the temporal association between naturally occurring episodes of drinking and subsequent sexual aggression. This daily report study was designed to examine whether alcohol consumption increases the odds of aggressive sexual activity within the next 4 hours.


First-year male college students (N = 427) completed daily online reports of drinking and sexual activity for up to 56 days. Multilevel modeling was used to determine whether drinking episodes increased the odds of the following outcomes occurring within 4 hours: (a) aggressive sex with a new partner, (b) non-aggressive sex with a new partner, (c) aggressive sex with a previous partner, and (d) non-aggressive sex with a previous partner.


Drinking episodes increased the odds of both aggressive and non-aggressive sex with a new partner. In contrast, drinking episodes did not predict aggression involving previous partners and decreased the odds of non-aggressive sex with a previous partner. Contrary to hypotheses, individual difference variables associated with propensity toward sexual aggression (sexual misperception, antisocial behavior, hostility toward women) did not interact with daily alcohol.


The complex pattern of results is more consistent with situational as opposed to pharmacological effects of alcohol on sexual aggression and suggests that prevention efforts focus on drinking contexts known to facilitate sexual activity.

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