Publication Date

2012-10-18

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2014-10-18

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2012-05-07

First Committee Member

Michael McCullough

Second Committee Member

Kiara Timpano

Third Committee Member

Michael French

Abstract

Based on sexual selection theory, I hypothesized that sex differences in sexual restrictiveness and social competitiveness—and sex differences in sexual and competitive motivations for participating in drinking games—are responsible for the sex differences in increases in drinking game behaviors over a twelve-week period. Participants were 133 women and 128 men enrolled in an introductory psychology course at the University of Miami. I found that men increased in frequency of drinking game participation and quantity of alcohol consumed during participation more so than did women. I also found that sex differences in increases in frequency of drinking game participation were partially mediated by competitive motivations for participating in drinking games and the effects of sexual restrictiveness and social competitiveness on competitive motivation. Drinking games are a major venue in which college students engage in heavy episodic drinking, which is a risk factor for college students’ behavioral and health problems. Thus, examining these relationships from a functional perspective may be useful in informing public health and university interventions and enabling better identification of at-risk students.

Keywords

evolutionary psychology; sexual selection theory; sex differences; drinking games

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