The relationship between alcohol and individual differences variables on attitudes and behavioral skills relevant to sexual health among heterosexual young adult men

Arch Sex Behav. 2004 Dec;33(6):571-84. doi: 10.1023/B:ASEB.0000044741.09127.e6.


The purpose of this experiment was to investigate the effects of alcohol, alcohol sex expectancies, and sexual sensation seeking on determinants of sexual health behavior according to the Information-Motivation-Behavioral Skills (IMB) model. The participants were 48 heterosexual young adult males who attended 2 laboratory sessions. During Session 1, participants completed a set of screening and individual differences measures, and during Session 2 they were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 beverage conditions: control, alcohol (0.65 g alcohol/kg body weight), or placebo. Following the experimental manipulation, all participants completed measures regarding attitudes toward condom use, intention to engage in risky sex, and condom use negotiation skills. The results showed that participants who consumed alcohol had poorer negotiation skills and greater intention to engage in risky sex compared to participants who did not drink alcohol. Although alcohol did not affect any dimension of attitude regarding condom use, attitude about condoms' effects on sex, as well as sexual sensation seeking, were correlated with both intention ratings and skills. Multiple regression models, including both attitudes and sensation seeking, showed that attitudes accounted for 20-25% of variance independent of beverage condition in predicting intention ratings and skills. The findings were consistent with past research showing that alcohol consumption can have detrimental effects on determinants of sexual health behavior and that individual differences factors can enhance the power of models like the IMB to predict such behavior.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology
  • Arousal / drug effects
  • Coitus* / psychology
  • Contraception Behavior* / psychology
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Intention
  • Male
  • Negotiating / psychology
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Safe Sex / drug effects*
  • Safe Sex / psychology
  • Time Factors