Alcohol and the “Hook Up” Culture: Sexual Assaults in the making

The effects of alcohol use and the societal acceptance of causal sexual encounters on the rates of sexual assault among American youth. Specifically identifying the individual, as well as combined effects, of alcohol and cultural influences related to decreased sexual morality on the overall rates of sexual assaults amid Americas youth.

5. Why Select this Topic? What are Your Objectives?: As a result of Americas propensity towards alcohol as a social lubricant, combined with the effects of our cultural encouragement of casual sexual relationships, American youth face a higher chance of becoming the victim of a sexual assault than ever before. I chose the topic of the effects of alcohol and the hook-up culture on the rate of sexual assaults amongst Americas youth, as this is a topic that unfortunately I have to deal with on an almost daily basis. As a federal investigator with jurisdiction over the Airmen of the United States Air Force, my responsibilities over the past 13 years have brought me in close contact with many victims of sexual assault. In dealing with the individuals and dynamics of each of these horrific crimes, I have observed many commonalities and underlying issues that I feel play a large part in the sheer number of sexual assault both in the military, and within American society at large. Two of the common threads I’m often able to identify early on in many of these investigations, is the effect alcohol and cultural influences play on the events leading up to the crimes themselves. My interest in writing this paper thus is three-fold: first, what are the identifiable factors alcohol contributes to the crime of sexual assault; second, what part does American culture play in lessening the perceived severity of the crime; and lastly, what are the combined effects of the contributions of alcohol and the cultural norms on the overall rate of sexual assault.

6. Main Divisions in the Project:
II.Humanities Aspects
a.Cultural influences
b.Cultural perceptions
c.Cultural dynamics
III.Social Science Aspects
a.Offender/Victim relationships
b.Common Events that precede sexual assaults
IV.Natural Science Aspects
a.Alcohols effect on decision making
b.Alcohols effect on physiology
c.Psychological aspects related to offenders
d.Psychological aspects related to victims
V. Conclusion

7. Reference Sources Located So Far:

1. Amacker, A. M., Littleton, H. L. (2013). Perceptions of Similarity and Responsibility
Attributions to an Acquaintance Sexual Assault Victim. Violence Against Women, 19
(11), 1384-1407.
This article discusses the difference in perceptions of rape victims individuals have
depending on how similar or dissimilar the victims are to the individual. The authors used a study in which 167 college women listened to a date narrative that ended in sexual assault, consensual sex, or no sexual activity. The study examined the temporal relationship between the how the listeners viewed themselves and the activity of the woman in the narrative. The results supported that women are less likely to relate to the woman in the story when she is sexually assaulted, and are more likely to view the victim as responsible for her own rape. This is a helpful source for gathering information related to the perception of rape victims by non-rape victims.

2. Bedard-Gilligan, M., Kaysen, D., Desai, S., Lee, C. M. (2011). Alcohol-Involved Assault:
Associations with Posttrauma Alcohol Use, Consequences, and Expectancies. Addictive
Behaviors, 36 (11), 1076-1082.
This article explores the effects alcohol consumption prior to a sexual assault have on post-assault adjustment, post-assault drinking behaviors, and consequential

expectations. The article used a research group of 306 undergraduate women who reported current alcohol use and reported either no trauma history, non-alcohol related sexual assault, or alcohol related sexual assault. This article will aid anyone looking for information pertaining to the tie between sexual assault and post-assault alcohol behaviors.

3. Cowley, A. D. (2014). Lets Get Drunk and Have Sex: The Complex Relationship of
Alcohol, Gender, and Sexual Victimization. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29 (7),
In this article, the author used interviews of 43 college-age students to identify and discuss the relationship between alcohol and gender in instances of sexual victimization. The participants responses clarified the complex understanding of the various factors that contribute individually to sexual victimization. The replies explore the way in which the physiological effects of alcohol, beliefs about alcohol, gender norms, sex scripts, and rape myths all work in tandem to normalize male dominance and violence against women. This article is a must for anyone examining the societal norms related to rape and alcohol.

4. Deming, M. E., Coven, E. K., Swan, S. C., Billings, D. L. (2013). Exploring Rape Myths,
Gendered Norms, Group Processing, and the Social Context of Rape Among College
Women. Violence Against Women, 19 (4), 465-485.
In this research article, the authors use two separate focus groups of college women to explore the negotiating strategies of women as they interpret ambiguous rape scenarios. The research further investigates the presence of cultural rape myths, contexts involving alcohol consumption, varying degrees of consent, and a known perpetrator. Indispensable resource for the exploration of how modern college women define rape and identify with rape.

5. Fossos, N., Kaysen, D., Neighbors, C., Lindgren, K. P., Hove, M. C. (2011). Coping Motives
as a Mediator of the Relationship between Sexual Coercion and Problem Drinking in College Students. Addictive Behaviors, 36 (10), 1001-1007.
This article explores the correlation between alcohol use as a social coping mechanism and sexual assault. The results of the authors research suggest that coping mechanism partially mediated the relationship between sexual coercion and drinking.


The article also identifies the difference in male and female paths for direct or indirect sexual coercion related to alcohol consumption; suggesting an obvious gender difference in alcohol as a mechanism for sexual assault. Good resource for additional gander-based differences in the correlation between alcohol consumption and sexual assault.

6. Friedman, A. (2013). When Rape Goes Viral, Newsweek, 161 (27), 1.
This Newsweek article explores the issues surrounding the use of social media to confront the scourge of sexual assault and the relation of this information socialization to its effects on the victims of sexual assault. The author highlights how the digital culture has proven both helpful and derogatory in trying to curb the rising trend of sexual assault in American society. Great resource for testimonial evidence of the tie between social media and perceptions of rape.

7. George, W. H., Davis, K. C., Heiman, J. R., Norris, J., Stoner, S. A., Schacht, R. (2011).
Women’s Sexual Arousal: Effects of High Alcohol Dosages and Self-Control Instructions. Hormones and Behavior, 59 (5), 1447-1453.
This article explores the relationship between alcohol, a women’s sexual arousal and her ability to self-control sexual urges. This article can be important to the research of sexual assault, as there is a thin line between in cognitive levels of intoxication. The implications of a black-out intoxicated women making sexual advances toward a less intoxicated male can be profound.

8. Heldman, C., Wade, L. (2010). Hook-Up Culture: Setting a New Research Agenda. Sexual
Research and Social Policy, 7 (4), 323-333.
This source summarizes the major findings of literature on the hook-up culture and explorers when and why this sexual subculture emerged. The authors identify several factors that have effected the transition to the hook-up culture, to include: college and university policies, gender distribution theories, changes in the nature of alcohol use, access to and consumption of pornography

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