Gender Roles and Drinking Motives: The Impact on College Students’ Ability to Recognize Sexual Victimization
This research study utilizes web-based survey data collected from a convenience sample of college men and women to determine the impacts of gender roles and drinking motives on the ability to recognize sexual victimization. Sexual victimization is defined as a completed, attempted, or threatened sexual act (Koss & Oros, 1982). Bandura’s (1973) Social Learning Theory is presented as a theoretical framework to explain why drinking motives and gender role may play an important role in sexual victimization. Three research questions are answered in the present study: (a) Is there a difference between men and women in identifying when a man should stop making sexual advances?; (b) Do motives for consuming alcohol predict alcohol consumption and the ability to recognize sexual violence?; and (c) Do gender roles and positive motives for consuming alcohol predict the ability to recognize unwanted sexual contact?The ability to recognize sexual victimization was tested using Marx and Gross’ (1995) Date Rape Discrimination Task (DRDT). The DRDT is valid and reliable audio vignette depicting a man and woman in a dating scenario that concludes in non-consensual sex. The DRDT tasked participants with stopping the vignette when the man should stop making advances toward the woman. The vignette running time is referred to as the response latency. Results indicate that men allowed the vignette to play for a significantly longer amount of time than women. Path analyses were employed to test the involvement of drinking motives and gender role on men’s and women’s ability to recognize sexual victimization. Women who consumed alcohol to cope with discomfort were found to have significantly longer response latencies. Gender roles were not found to predict response latencies. Finally, implications to theory are discussed and recommendations for future research are presented.