Feminist Consciousness and Empowerment as Moderators in the Relationship between Sexism and Self-Objectification and Alcohol Use in College Women

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While past research has revealed a positive association between sexism and women’s alcohol use, no studies have examined how feminist identity may moderate this association. Thus, with a sample of 329 college-attending women, we examined the extent to which sexism, self-objectification, and benevolent sexism were associated with alcohol-related problems and heavy episodic drinking, as well as the extent to which various forms of feminist identity moderated those associations. Results showed that self-objectification was positively associated with heavy episodic drinking, whereas neither sexism nor benevolent sexism were associated with maladaptive alcohol use. Sexism was positively associated with alcohol related problems for women of color. Results also showed that the active commitment form of feminist identity moderated the association between self-objectification and heavy episodic drinking. No other interactions with moderating variables were significant. This study emphasizes the importance of examining gender-relevant factors when working with women who engage in risky alcohol use.