Alcohol has been said to be linked to sexual aggression. In this chapter in the textbook, we are informed that gender and alcohol are important factors linked to aggression, especially in college students.
To prove this, Brian Marx conducted an experiment in which Male college students were asked to listen to a synthesized audio tape, designed to sound like a date rape.
"The date rape stimulus [...] consisted of an audio tape depiction of a man and a woman engaged in sexual activity. The couple was described as two college students returning to the man's apartment after a date at the movies. Physical intimacy between the couple was portrayed through dialogue and audible breathing and kissing sounds."
The audio tape ended after rape had occurred. Each individual male participant was asked to indicate the point in which the male character in the audio tape should have stopped forcing intimacy with the female character. The audio was divided into segments in which the woman's refusal escalated, beginning from gently refusing intimacy, to pleading and crying in response to the male's behavior.
To see how aggression could be linked to alcohol, one group of male participants was asked to consume alcohol while undergoing this procedure. As expected, the male participants that consumed alcohol took longer to indicate the point in which the male character in the audio should have stopped forcing intimacy than the sober ones. It is true that alcohol might reduce judgment and the power to recognize certain cues than when one is sober, but this experiment truly showed that "intoxication may weaken inhibitions against aggressive behavior" (Kassin 425) This being said, the textbook states that alcohol makes aggressive behavior seem much more justified. Because of this, we can infer that drinking alcohol is a clearly an important factor in sexually aggressive incidents amongst college students.
After reviewing this study, we can ask ourselves several questions.
Why does alcohol truly impair our viewpoint of sexual aggression? Why is it more acceptable in this scenario?
How is it possible for aggression to be so inconsistent within the same individual?
Is aggression something learned, or something innate?