Date of Award

Fall 11-29-2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Ruschelle Leone, PhD

Second Advisor

Anne Marie Schipani-McLaughlin, PhD


Sexual violence is a global public health epidemic that affects women across the world. Sexual violence is defined as an act that involves nonconsensual sexual contact or behaviors, both physical and non-physical. In the United States, a woman is sexually assaulted every two minutes, making this a health crisis that must be addressed. Research studies focused on risk factors for perpetration, have found that both personal and environmental factors are associated with the perpetration of sexual aggression. Alcohol is an established risk factor for sexual perpetration. One facet of impulsivity, negative urgency, has also been linked to sexual aggression. While impulsivity and alcohol both have strong relationships with sexual aggression, the literature fails to examine a potential relationship between these two variables and sexual aggression. This present study aims to examine how the association between sexual aggression and alcohol-related sex expectancies, or common beliefs or expectations regarding the effects of alcohol on the sexual experience, are moderated by negative impulsivity. The study hypotheses were that alcohol-related sex expectancies will be positively associated with sex aggression. Further hypotheses were that alcohol-related sex expectancies would be associated with sexual aggression among men who reported higher, compared to lower, levels of negative urgency. Results indicated that negative urgency did not moderate the association between alcohol-related expectancies for sex and sexual aggression. A pos hoc analysis indicated that an interaction between sensation seeking and alcohol-related sex expectancies for women: sex drive predicted sexual aggression perpetration, whereas high levels of expectancies are positively associated with low levels of sensation seeking. Future research is needed to examine other potential moderators in the relationship between alcohol-related expectancies for sex and sexual aggression. Researchers should also consider examining sexual sensation seeking as a predictor for sexual aggression perpetration, but not as a facet of impulsivity.


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