Ambivalent Sexism, Alcohol Use, and Intimate Partner Violence Perpetration

Claire M. Renzetti, Kellie R. Lynch, C. Nathan DeWall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Research on risk factors for men’s perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) has shown a high correlation with problem alcohol use. Additional studies, however, indicate that the alcohol–IPV link is neither simple nor necessarily direct and that a range of factors may moderate this relationship. Using a national, community-based sample of 255 men, the present study examined the moderating effects of ambivalent sexism (i.e., hostile and benevolent sexism) on the relationship between alcohol use and IPV perpetration. The findings show that both greater alcohol consumption and high hostile sexism are positively associated with IPV perpetration, and that hostile sexism moderates the alcohol–IPV relationship for perpetration of physical IPV, but not for psychological IPV. Moreover, high levels of alcohol consumption have a greater impact on physical IPV perpetration for men low in hostile sexism than for men high in hostile sexism, lending support to the multiple threshold model of the alcohol–IPV link. Implications of the findings for prevention, intervention, and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-210
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • alcohol
  • ambivalent sexism
  • hostile sexism
  • intimate partner violence
  • multiple threshold model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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