The effects of alcohol and sexual arousal on determinants of sexual risk in men who have sex with men

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49 Scopus citations


Primarypreventioneffortsaimedatsexual riskbehaviors are critical. This experiment was designed to investigate the effectsofalcoholintoxicationandsexualarousal,aswellasperson variables of alcohol sex expectancies and attitudes toward condom use, on hypothesized determinants of sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM). The participants were117MSMaged21-50 yearswhowererandomlyassignedto one of six separate experimental conditions created by the combination of beverage administration (water control, placebo or alcohol designed to raise blood alcohol level to .07%) and sexual arousal (low or high, manipulated by participants' viewing nonerotic or mildlyeroticfilmclips). Participants attended twoexperimental sessions. The first session included completing questionnaires about beliefs about alcohol's effects on sex and attitudes toward condoms' effect on sexual pleasure. The second session involved the beverage condition and arousal manipulations. Following these, participants viewed and responded to two interactive videos depicting high sexual risk scenarios. Participants also completed theCARE,a measure of risk perceptions.The dependent variableswere behavioral skills, intentions to have unsafe sex, and "riskexposure, "derivedfromresponsestothevideos.Theresultsof both planned and exploratory analyses showed general support for thehypothesizedenhancementofalcohol'seffectsonsexualriskby both sexual arousal andexpectancies.Also aspredicted, condom attitudes showed direct relationships to risk exposure and intentions. Implications of the findings formodels of alcohol's effects on sexual risk and for the development ofHIV prevention interventions were discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)971-986
Number of pages16
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Alcohol
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Sexual arousal
  • Sexual risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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