This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

“Well, What did you Sexpect?” The Relationship of Heavy Episodic Drinking with Rape Myth Acceptance, Sexual Expectations, and Sexual-Coercion Alcohol Expectancies




Clinton, Lauren

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Special Education, Rehabilitation, Counseling


Contemporary research has established a strong relationship between heavy episodic drinking and both perpetration and victimization of sexual assault. To better understand this relationship, we aimed to explore the interaction of cognition in sex-related variables, such as rape myth acceptance and sexual-coercion related alcohol expectancies, with heavy episodic drinking. Additionally, we aimed to explore the relationship between binge drinking and Sexpectations, a new measure developed by the primary author that examines cognitive “shoulds and wills” of sexual behavior. It was hypothesized that 1) Heavy episodic drinking is correlated with sex-related variables, and that sex-related variables are correlated with one another, 2) Heavy episodic drinking accounts for unique variance among sex-related variables, and 3) Sexual coercion alcohol expectancies will moderate the relationship between heavy episodic drinking and Sexpectations. Participants (N = 972) completed an online survey examining their endorsement of the sex-related variables and binge drinking. 1) Heavy episodic drinking (HED) was positively correlated with Sexpectations, but not with rape myth acceptance or sexual coercion alcohol expectancies (SCAE). Sexpectations were positively correlated with the sexual coercion alcohol expectancy for perceived vulnerability and negatively correlated with rape myth acceptance. 2) Heavy episodic drinking accounted for unique variance in Sexpectations, but not rape myth acceptance or sexual coercion alcohol expectancies. 3) Though the interaction term of SCAE and HED did not demonstrate a moderation effect, SCAE—Vulnerability accounted for unique variance in each model for Sexpectations when controlling for gender and HED. Implications and future directions are discussed.