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The Role of Alcohol in Sexual Assault
Organizer: Jacquelyn White
University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC

This symposium explores the alcohol-aggression link in cases of sexual assault. Presenters will report data that not only describe the frequency of alcohol use in sexual assaults, but will be explore mechanisms responsible for the link. Specifically, the role of alcohol will be described in adolescent and college students' experiences of acquaintance sexual assault. Sexually aggressive behaviors occurring in bars will also be described. Theoretical perspectives will focus on cognitive factors operating in victims and perpetrators.

Alcohol use in reports of sexual assault during adolescence and the collegiate years
Jacquelyn White and John A. Humphrey
(University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC)
Data, based on a four-year longitudinal study of over 1500 young women and 700 young men, which describe the use of alcohol during sexual assaults, are reported. Results indicate that alcohol presence was more frequent in reports of college victimization than adolescent victimization, but that at each age, alcohol use was more likely to be reported in instances of coerced sex than in instances of consensual sex. (back to top)

A prospective, event-based analysis of sexual aggression associated with bars
Kathleen A. Parks and Lisa Zetes-Zanetta
(Research Institute on Addictions, Buffalo, NY)
Fifty-one women participated in a study of sexual aggression in bars. Aggression was reported through daily logs and detailed accounts from interviews. Thirty-four percent of verbally aggressive incidents were sexual, whereas 15% of physically aggressive incidents were sexual. Women reporting verbal, sexual aggression consumed 6.8 drinks, whereas women reporting moderate, sexual aggression consumed 5.1 drinks prior to the incident. For each aggressive incident, a matched event in which aggression did not occur was obtained. Comparisons of matched events are discussed.(back to top)

Alcohol's relationship to recognizing and resisting sexual aggression
Jeannette Norris, Paula S. Nurius, and Jan F. Gaylord
(Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Seattle, WA)
Women's ability to resist sexual aggression by an acquaintance is influenced by their cognitive appraisals of the situation. Alcohol consumption can affect women's appraisals through its focusing effect. How alcohol can decrease women's ability to recognize and resist sexual aggression was investigated in 404 college women who completed questionnaires assessing an incident of physical sexual coercion, rape, or attempted rape, 50% of which involved alcohol. Implications for prevention of sexual assault will be discussed.

Links among alcohol, misperception, and sexual assault: Evidence from laboratory and field research
Antonia Abbey, Pam McAuslan, and Tina Zawaki (Wayne State University, Detroit, MI)
Abbey and her colleagues (Abbey, 1991; Abbey et al., 1994) developed a theoretical model examining the relationship between alcohol, misperception of sexual intent, and sexual assault. The results of a cross-sectional survey of sexual assault experiences and a balanced placebo alcohol administration study provide corroborative evidence of the role of alcohol in misperception and sexual assault. The results have important implications for research and prevention programming related to violence against women.(back to top)

Aggression: Historical, Sociological, and Aesthetic Perspectives Evolutionary bias, democratic regimes, and war 1816-1995
J. D. Singer
(University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
The "Democratic Peace" strategy rests on these empirical assumptions: a) that pairs of democratic states very rarely go to war against one another; b) that it is possible to increase the number of democratic states in the global system; and thus c) to reduce the incidence of interstate war.  But if the empirical evidence indicates that: a) the dyadic peace proposition rests on dubious criteria and coding rules and b) that the human evolutionary bias is away from egalitarian and toward more authoritarian societies, it may be that pressing the less democratic states to change course could not only not do much for world peace, but perhaps even lead to more war.(back to top)

Violence, ritual, and aesthetics: Symbolic experience
Dawn M. Perlmutter
(Cheyney University, Cheyney, PA)
In this paper violent actions will be examined through theories of symbolism in the disciplines of aesthetics and ritual studies. It will be demonstrated that ritual, aesthetics and violence are endemic to society, are intrinsically intertwined and are manifested in symbolic interactions.  Theories of intention and response in the veneration and desecration of images, idolatry and iconoclasm, will be correlated to actions of physical mutilation to illustrate similarities in symbolic phenomenological experience.(back to top)

Violence in Egypt and Algeria: A comparative historical and sociological analysis
Mohammed Aboel Enien
(United Arab Emirates University, UAE)
The violence events that erupted in Egypt and Algeria recently have their explanation in the social, economic, and political history of both countries.  This paper aims at presenting a historical and sociological analysis of recent developments which resulted in the outbreak of violence.  The paper benefits from a wide range of literature on the social history and political sociology of both the Egyptian and Algerian societies. The paper attempts to answer the following questions:  What are the major factors behind the spread of violence in Egypt and Algeria? Who are the main parties in the current crisis? How do intellectuals interpret the situation? (content analysis of newspaper material) What are the possible scenarios for the future?  As a comparative study, the paper is also meant to outline the main similarities and differences between Egypt and Algeria in order to establish a comparative approach to the study of political violence in developing countries.(back to top)

On aggression
Valeri Dinev
(Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria)
The research on aggression can be summarized into four basic trends: psychological (S. Freud), biological (K. Lorenz), sociological (B. Skinner) and pharmacological (N. Avis). Among these the biological one is the most elaborated and influential.  Our opinion is that the human being has inborn biological predispositions to aggression and not pure instincts.  And these predispositions can be increased or diminished depending on social conditions. Some think that persons with excessive "aggressive energy" subconsciously strive towards profession, which give them the opportunity to "discharge" this energy in their everyday work—military, police, surgery, etc.  Creative work is considered to be another kind of sublimation of "aggressive energy."(back to top)

Moral poverty or imperiled self: Urban violence and the experience of betrayal
Michael Flynn
(John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY)
Taking issue with the "moral poverty" theory of youth violence forwarded by Bennett and DiUllio, this paper will argue that violence springs from the perceived threats to the self.  Drawing from phenomenologically-based research and clinical work with male urban youth, this paper will discuss the role a sense of emotional and moral betrayal plays in violence.  It will also argue that for many young men violence can be an effective way of bestowing a sense of moral order and virtue.(back to top)