Research Interests

Currently, I am most active in research focusing on the influence of alcohol on sexual health behavior and related constructs. My work emphasizes the view that both alcohol expectancy theory and alcohol myopia theory are useful frameworks for understanding alcohol-involved sexual behaviors and consequences. Grounded in these theories, my colleagues, students and I conduct surveys and laboratory-based experiments examining the potentially disinhibiting effects of alcohol on sexual perception, sexual arousal, sexual aggression, and HIV/AIDS related sexual risk taking. Typically, these experiments involve assessment of individual differences including alcohol expectancies and drinking motives, administration of beverages, presentation of sexual or sexually aggressive stimuli, and assessment of sexual outcomes, such as arousal, perception, and likelihood of risk-taking. We presently have several manuscripts in preparation or under review, reporting findings from recently completed experiments. In a series of papers, we report that acute alcohol intoxication influences sexual arousal and sexual risk-taking decisions during a hypothetical encounter. In another series of papers, we report that acute intoxication also influences women’s reactions to a hypothetical date rape.