She Looks like She’d Be an Animal in Bed: Dehumanization of Drinking Women in Social Contexts

Research paper by Abigail R. Riemer, Sarah J. Gervais, Jeanine L. M. Skorinko, Sonya Maria Douglas, Heather Spencer, Katherine Nugai, Anastasia Karapanagou, Andreas Miles-Novelo

Indexed on: 07 Sep '18Published on: 06 Sep '18Published in: Sex Roles


The purpose of the present research was to examine the perceptions of women who drink in social contexts through the lens of dehumanization (Haslam 2006). Across three experiments, we manipulated the presence of alcohol by depicting a woman at a bar with a bottle of beer or a bottle of water and measured dehumanization. As hypothesized, women were dehumanized more in the alcohol condition than in the water condition by men (Experiments 1–3) and women (Experiments 2 and 3). Notably, the presence of alcohol compared to water had no impact on dehumanization of men (Experiment 2). Also, as hypothesized, perceived intoxication emerged as a significant mediator of the link between alcohol condition and dehumanization in Experiments 1 and 2, and alcohol quantity predicted greater dehumanization in Experiment 3. Extending the present work to prior work in this area, Experiment 3 also examined the links among alcohol, perceived sexual availability, and dehumanization, revealing that perceived sexual availability mediated the link between alcohol and dehumanization. Implications for theories of dehumanization, alcohol, and social perception as well as practical implications of these findings are discussed.