Alcohol and sexual aggression in a national sample of college men

Sarah E. Ullman, George Karabatsos, Mary P. Koss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Alcohol use prior to sexual assault by both offenders and their victims may be associated with the severity of sexual aggression men commit against women. Little research has explored the pathways (e.g., social context, behavior) through which alcohol may affect outcomes of sexual attacks. The present study analyzed the role of alcohol in sexual assaults (N=694) committed by men identified from a national sample (N= 2,972) of male college students completing a survey. Interactions of alcohol use with assault variables did not suggest any synergistic role of alcohol use in predicting sexual aggression severity. Path analysis showed, however, that offender propensity to abuse alcohol and victim preassault alcohol use were each both directly and indirectly related to sexual aggression severity, whereas offender preassault alcohol use was not directly related to sexual aggression severity. This study suggests that alcohol use plays both direct and indirect roles in the outcomes of sexual assaults. Rape and alcohol abuse prevention efforts can benefit from incorporating information about alcohol's role in different assault contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-689
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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