Perceived sexual control, sex-related alcohol expectancies and behavior predict substance-related sexual revictimization.
OBJECTIVES: Although numerous studies have documented linkages between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and later sexual revictimization, mechanisms underlying revictimization, particularly assaults occurring in the context of substance use, are not well-understood. Consistent with Traumagenic Dynamics theory, the present study tested a path model positing that lowered perceptions of sexual control resulting from CSA may be associated with increased sex-related alcohol expectancies and heightened likelihood of risky sexual behavior, which in turn, may predict adult substance-related rape. METHODS: Participants were 546 female college students who completed anonymous surveys regarding CSA and adult rape, perceptions of sexual control, sex-related alcohol expectancies, and likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior. RESULTS: The data fit the hypothesized model well and all hypothesized path coefficients were significant and in the expected directions. As expected, sex-related alcohol expectancies and likelihood of risky sexual behavior only predicted substance-related rape, not forcible rape. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggested that low perceived sexual control stemming from CSA is associated with increased sex-related alcohol expectancies and a higher likelihood of engaging in sexual behavior in the context of alcohol use. In turn these proximal risk factors heighten vulnerability to substance-related rape. Programs which aim to reduce risk for substance-related rape could be improved by addressing expectancies and motivations for risky sexual behavior in the context of substance use. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Walsh, K; Messman-Moore, T; Zerubavel, N; Chandley, RB; Denardi, KA; Walker, DP
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)