Sex-related alcohol expectancies among African American women attending an urban STI clinic

Heidi E. Hutton, Mary E. McCaul, Jeanette Norris, Julia D. Valliant, Tina Abrefa-Gyan, Geetanjali Chander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


African American women are disproportionately affected by human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Alcohol use is a significant risk factor for HIV/STI acquisition. Sex-related alcohol expectancies (SRAEs) may partially account for alcohol-related risky sexual behaviors. Using qualitative interviews we explored the link between alcohol use and risky sex among 20 African American women attending an STI clinic who had consumed four or more alcoholic drinks per drinking day (binge drinking) and/or reported vaginal or anal sex while under the influence of alcohol. Four SRAEs emerged, which we named drink for sexual desire, drink for sexual power, drink for sexual excuse, and drink for anal sex. While the desire SRAE has been documented, this study identified three additional SRAEs not currently assessed by expectancy questionnaires. These SRAEs may contribute to high-risk sex when under the influence of alcohol and suggests the importance of developing integrated alcohol-sexual risk reduction interventions for high-risk women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-589
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 13 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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