Sex Roles

, Volume 80, Issue 9–10, pp 617–629 | Cite as

She Looks like She’d Be an Animal in Bed: Dehumanization of Drinking Women in Social Contexts

  • Abigail R. RiemerEmail author
  • Sarah J. Gervais
  • Jeanine L. M. Skorinko
  • Sonya Maria Douglas
  • Heather Spencer
  • Katherine Nugai
  • Anastasia Karapanagou
  • Andreas Miles-Novelo
Original Article


The purpose of the present research was to examine the perceptions of women who drink in social contexts through the lens of dehumanization (Haslam 2006). Across three experiments, we manipulated the presence of alcohol by depicting a woman at a bar with a bottle of beer or a bottle of water and measured dehumanization. As hypothesized, women were dehumanized more in the alcohol condition than in the water condition by men (Experiments 1–3) and women (Experiments 2 and 3). Notably, the presence of alcohol compared to water had no impact on dehumanization of men (Experiment 2). Also, as hypothesized, perceived intoxication emerged as a significant mediator of the link between alcohol condition and dehumanization in Experiments 1 and 2, and alcohol quantity predicted greater dehumanization in Experiment 3. Extending the present work to prior work in this area, Experiment 3 also examined the links among alcohol, perceived sexual availability, and dehumanization, revealing that perceived sexual availability mediated the link between alcohol and dehumanization. Implications for theories of dehumanization, alcohol, and social perception as well as practical implications of these findings are discussed.


Alcohol Intoxication Dehumanization Sex Gender 



We would like to thank Ellen Dudley for her assistance with data collection for Study 1. This represented a portion of her undergraduate honor’s thesis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All of the research reported in the manuscript complies with APA ethical standards in the treatment of human participants. The Institutional Review Board of the University at which this study was conducted approved of the study and informed consent procedures.

Supplementary material

11199_2018_958_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 1573 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abigail R. Riemer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah J. Gervais
    • 1
  • Jeanine L. M. Skorinko
    • 2
  • Sonya Maria Douglas
    • 2
  • Heather Spencer
    • 2
  • Katherine Nugai
    • 2
  • Anastasia Karapanagou
    • 2
  • Andreas Miles-Novelo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of NebraskaLincolnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social Science & Policy StudiesWorcester Polytechnic InstituteWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyIowa State UniversityAmesUSA

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