Young women’s alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking mediate the link between sexual enhancement motives and condomless sex when drinking

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Abstract

Alcohol use is prevalent among young women. Alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking and sexual enhancement motives have been associated with decreased condom use. This study investigated whether alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking mediated the association between sexual enhancement motives and condom use. Young women (N = 287, M age = 20.1) completed a survey assessing alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking, sexual enhancement motives, and characteristics of their most recent sexual encounter involving alcohol. Most participants (66.9 %) reported unprotected sex during their last sexual encounter involving alcohol. Higher sexual enhancement motives (OR = 1.35, p = .019) and alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking (OR = 1.89, p < .001) were associated with increased likelihood of condomless sex. Alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking mediated the association between sexual enhancement motives and condomless vaginal sex. Within the context of sexual encounters involving alcohol, expectancies that drinking may result in sexual risk-taking may account for why sexual enhancement motives relate to decreased condom use.

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Acknowledgments

This research was supported by grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (R03DA0377860) to Jennifer L. Brown, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to Amelia Talley (R00AA019974), and research development funds from Texas Tech University to Jennifer L. Brown.

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Correspondence to Jennifer L. Brown.

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Jennifer L. Brown, Amelia E. Talley, Andrew K. Littlefield, Nicole K. Gause, declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Brown, J.L., Talley, A.E., Littlefield, A.K. et al. Young women’s alcohol expectancies for sexual risk-taking mediate the link between sexual enhancement motives and condomless sex when drinking. J Behav Med 39, 925–930 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-016-9760-8

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Keywords

  • Alcohol expectancies
  • Sex motives
  • Condom use
  • Expectancy motive theory
  • Young women