Date of Graduation

5-2022

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Community Health Promotion (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Kristen N. Jozkowski

Committee Member

Lindsay S. Ham

Second Committee Member

Jacquelyn Wiersma-Mosley

Third Committee Member

Robert Davis

Fourth Committee Member

Dominic Parrott

Keywords

alcohol, alcohol myopia theory (AMT), masculinity, Precarious Manhood Theory (PMT), sexual aggression

Abstract

Background: Research examining the combined effects of men’s alcohol consumption and perceptions of their masculinity as precarious (e.g., viewing masculinity as easily threatened) on sexual aggression (SA) is lacking. The goal of this dissertation study was to assess if alcohol consumption and precarious masculinity are related to men’s SA via a web-administered survey (Study 1) and an in-person alcohol administration experiment (Study 2).

Methodology: In Study 1, two samples of young adult men (aged 18-30) were collected, 1) a community sample of 492 men and 2) a college sample of 478 men, to complete a 20-minute survey; participants answered questions about their binge drinking, heavy episodic drinking, precarious masculinity, and SA. In Study 2, 119 men (aged 21-30) arrived at a research lab, completed a personality test, and were assigned to consume an alcoholic (n = 61) or a nonalcoholic beverage (n = 58). Next, men were informed their personality test results suggest they are less masculine than other men (i.e., masculinity is threatened). Men then completed a media task to measure SA, wherein they believed another woman was present and could select media for her to watch. Men are informed the woman did not like sexually-laden media. Men then selected whether to show her sexual material (SA assessment). Regardless of choice, men were asked how long (in seconds) the woman should watch the sexual material (SA assessment).

Results: In Study 1 we ran four logistic regressions across the two samples (i.e., community sample and college sample) examining the effects of binge drinking and heavy episodic drinking and precarious masculinity on men’s SA. For the community sample of men, binge drinking and precarious masculinity were only independently related to SA. For the heavy episodic drinking model, only heavy drinking but not precarious masculinity was related to SA. For college men, only their binge drinking or heavy episodic drinking was related to SA; precarious masculinity was not related to aggression in either model. In Study 2, only men who were intoxicated and threatened selected the sexual material. Men who were intoxicated and threatened showed the sexual material for a longer length of time than men who were sober.

Conclusion: The independent and interactive effects of precarious masculinity and alcohol on SA appear to vary by how these constructs are measured and who is included in studies. Collectively, results suggest that both alcohol use and masculinity should be targeted in SA prevention programs. SA prevention programs may also want to tailor their messaging depending on who is attending these programs or who they aim to reach as the risk factors for SA among college and community men may vary.

Available for download on Friday, June 30, 2023

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