She Looks like She’d Be an Animal in Bed: Dehumanization of Drinking Women in Social Contexts
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.
KeywordsAlcohol 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.
- Abbey, A., Ross, L. T., Mcduffie, D., & McAuslan, P. (1996). Alcohol and dating risk factors for sexual assault among college women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 147–169. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1996.tb00669.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bandura, A. (1990). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. In W. M. Kurtines & J. L. Gewirtz (Eds.), Handbook of moral behavior and development: Theory, research and applications (pp. 45–104). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Bar-Tal, D. (1990). Causes and consequences of delegitimization: Models of conflict and ethnocentrism. Journal of Social Issues, 46, 65–81. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1990.tb00272.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bartky, S. L. (1990). Femininity and domination: Studies in the phenomenology of oppression. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Beckman, L. J., & Ackerman, K. T. (1995). Women, alcohol and sexuality. Recent Developments in Alcohol, 12, 267–285.Google Scholar
- Davies, E. L., Lewis, E. B. C., & Hennelly, S. E. (2018). “I am quite mellow but I wouldn’t say everyone else is”: How UK students compare their drinking behaviors to their peers’. Substance Abuse, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/10826084.2017.1416403.
- Fasoli, F., Paladino, M. P., Carnaghi, A., Jetten, J., Bastian, B., & Bain, P. G. (2015). Not “just words”: Exposure to homophobic epithets leads to dehumanizing physical distancing from gay men. European Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 237–248. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173–206. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1997.tb00108.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- George, W. H., Gournic, S. J., & McAfee, M. P. (1988). Perceptions of post-drinking female sexuality: Effects of gender, beverage choice, and drink payment. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 18, 1295–1316. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1988.tb01208.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- George, W. H., Lehman, G. L., Cue, K. L., Martinez, L. J., Lopez, P. A., & Norris, J. (1997). Postdrinking sexual inferences: Evidence for linear rather than curvilinear dosage effects. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 629–648. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1997.tb00652.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2018). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
- Kanin, E. J. (1984). Date rape: Unofficial criminals and victims. Victimology, 9, 95–108.Google Scholar
- Kelman, H. G. (1973). Violence without moral restraint: Reflections on the dehumanization of victims and victimizers. Journal of Social Issues, 29, 25–61. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1973.tb00102.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kelman, H. C. (1976). Violence without restraint: Reflections on the dehumanization of victims and victimizers. In G. M. Kren & L. H. Rappoport (Eds.), Varieties of psychohistory (pp. 282–314). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
- Leyens, J.-P., Cortes, B., Demoulin, S., Dovidio, J. F., Fiske, S. T., Gaunt, R., … Vaes, J. (2003). Emotional prejudice, essentialism, and nationalism. European Journal of Social Psychology, 33, 704–717. https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.170
- Lindgren, K. P., Parkhill, M. R., George, W. H., & Hendershot, C. S. (2008). Gender differences in perception of sexual intent: A qualitative review and integration. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 32, 423–439. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.2008.00456.x.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Opotow, S. (1990). Moral exclusion and injustice: An introduction. Journal of Social Issues, 46, 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1990.tb00268.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Scully, D. (1991). Understanding sexual violence: A study of convicted rapists. Boston: Unwin Hyman.Google Scholar
- Spencer, S. J., Zanna, M. P., & Fong, G. T. (2005). Establishing a causal chain: Why experiments are often more effective than mediational analyses in examining psychological processes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 845–851. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Viki, G., Fullerton, I., Raggett, H., Tait, F., & Wilshire, S. (2012). The role of dehumanization in attitudes toward the social exclusion and rehabilitation of sex offenders. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42, 2349–2367. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00944.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar