Sexual Violence and Substance Abuse

A careful balance: Multinational perspectives on culture, gender, and power in marriage and family therapy practice

In this study, we examined how marriage and family therapists from various countries and diverse cultural backgrounds address the intersection of gender, power, and culture in therapy. Twenty participants from 15 countries responded to an Internet survey that included several hypothetical, clinical vignettes not associated with any one particular culture or nationality. Participants selected a vignette based on its similarity to clinical situations they face in practice within their cultural contexts, and provided information about their conceptualizations of gender, culture, and power, along with treatment recommendations. We analyzed data using analytic induction and constant comparison methods. Results indicate the careful balance with which the participants work to engage clients in therapy, respect cultural values and practices, and promote equitable gender relationships.

The distinctive characteristics and needs of domestic violence victims in a Native American community

The objectives of the research described in this paper were to describe specific features of Native American domestic violence (DV), and identify the needs and barriers to service delivery for American Indians experiencing DV. Qualitative methods of data collection were used in this research. The results suggest that DV in Native American communities may be distinct in a number of ways. The cause of Native American DV may be anchored in historic trauma, poverty, alcohol and drugs, and rural isolation. Cultural and economic features of Native American DV are discussed. The complexity of DV in the Native American community, its association with a number of co-morbid problems, suggests a multi-modal intervention approach and collaboration among a variety of professionals.

Replicating A Teen HIV/STD Preventive Intervention In A Multicultural City

Although there are now several adolescent HIV and STD preventive interventions of demonstrated efficacy in the literature, little is understood about the portability of these interventions. This study replicated Stanton’s Focus on Kids intervention, developed for inner city African American adolescents, in a different population, transferring it to a multicultural city. Despite careful replication of the original study’s procedures, youth in the preventive intervention condition of the replication study did not improve in attitudes, perceived norms, self–efficacy, or intentions toward sexual initiation, condom use, or abstinence compared with a carefully matched control condition. We discuss several possible reasons for this failure to replicate, concluding that the most likely reason is the lower rates of sexual activity among youth in the replication city.

Perceptual and decisional processing of diagnostic and non-diagnostic cues of women’s sexual interest: Influence of alcohol intoxication and sexual coercion history

Young men’s errors in sexual perception have been linked to sexual coercion. The current investigation sought to further explicate (a) the perceptual and decisional sources of these social perception errors and their link to risk for sexual violence, and (b) the influence of alcohol intoxication on sexual perception. General Recognition Theory (Ashby & Townsend, 1986) was used to estimate participants’ ability to discriminate between affective cues and clothing style cues and to measure illusory correlations between men’s perception of women’s clothing style and sexual interest. Men at high risk for perpetrating sexual coercion were less sensitive to the distinction between women’s friendly and sexual interest cues relative to other men. In addition they were more likely to perceive an illusory correlation between women’s diagnostic sexual interest cues (e.g., facial affect) and non-diagnostic cues (e.g., provocative clothing), which increases the probability that they will misperceive friendly women as intending to communicate sexual interest. Alcohol intoxication decreased men’s ability to discriminate between women’s friendly and sexual interest cues relative to their own performance sober and changed decisional thresholds such that ambiguous positive affect cues were more likely to be perceived as indicative of sexual interest. Nonetheless, participants were equally skilled in discriminating provocative clothing from conservative clothing whether performing intoxicated or sober. The results provide information about the degree of risk conferred by individual differences in perceptual processing of women’s interest cues and the influence of acute alcohol intoxication on sexual perception. It also provide a concrete example for translational scientists interested in adapting GRT in order to be mathematically explicit about predicted individual differences in social perception.

Violence, Cultural Display and the Suspension of Sexual Prejudice

Prejudice and violence directed against gay men, lesbians and other sexual groups have been viewed as ubiquitous and relatively fixed phenomena in contemporary societies. This perspective must be reconciled with the increased depiction of marginal sexualities and commercial ‘queering’ of mainstream media and popular culture. This paper presents and discusses data from two sources. Firstly, interviews conducted with self-identifying heterosexuals at the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (SGLMG) parade suggest attendance and participation can occur through a widely enjoyed public display and the temporary suspension of sexual prejudice in such specific carnivalesque occasions. Secondly, gay and lesbian responses to an internet-based questionnaire concerning perceptions and experiences of safety and hostility at this and similar other public events, suggest an undercurrent of threat and incivility, especially in the post-event context. These data sources are not directly compared but analysed in a complementary way to throw new light on how different groups view and experience this event. Our findings reflect how sexual prejudice is a shifting and contradictory collective social practice.

The Facts About Violence Against Historically Disadvantaged Persons

Racial/ethnic and sexual orientation minorities and women historically have been relegated to social, legal, and economic disadvantage in the United States. Such disadvantage is thought to be one of the underlying factors responsible for mental health disparities.1,2 One of the most alarming disparities is the prevalence of violent victimization (eg, black male teenagers are more than 5 times as likely to die because of guns as their white peers). Blacks in urban communities are much more likely to be murdered, assaulted, or raped than their white counterparts.3,4 We review how culture and disadvantage interact in particular forms of violent victimization. General recommendations are given for competent intervention, because the psychiatrist often is in the best position to gain access to multisystem interventions that can prevent further violence and address the sequelae of trauma.


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