Perceived sexual control, sex-related alcohol expectancies and behavior predict substance-related sexual revictimization.
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OBJECTIVES: Although numerous studies have documented linkages between childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and later sexual revictimization, mechanisms underlying revictimization, particularly assaults occurring in the context of substance use, are not well-understood. Consistent with Traumagenic Dynamics theory, the present study tested a path model positing that lowered perceptions of sexual control resulting from CSA may be associated with increased sex-related alcohol expectancies and heightened likelihood of risky sexual behavior, which in turn, may predict adult substance-related rape. METHODS: Participants were 546 female college students who completed anonymous surveys regarding CSA and adult rape, perceptions of sexual control, sex-related alcohol expectancies, and likelihood of engaging in risky sexual behavior. RESULTS: The data fit the hypothesized model well and all hypothesized path coefficients were significant and in the expected directions. As expected, sex-related alcohol expectancies and likelihood of risky sexual behavior only predicted substance-related rape, not forcible rape. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggested that low perceived sexual control stemming from CSA is associated with increased sex-related alcohol expectancies and a higher likelihood of engaging in sexual behavior in the context of alcohol use. In turn these proximal risk factors heighten vulnerability to substance-related rape. Programs which aim to reduce risk for substance-related rape could be improved by addressing expectancies and motivations for risky sexual behavior in the context of substance use. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Child Abuse, Sexual
Surveys and Questionnaires