Publications by authors named "Ann M Merriwether"

4 Publications

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Person- and Incident-Level Predictors of Blame, Disclosure, and Reporting to Authorities in Rape Scenarios.

J Interpers Violence 2021 05 23;36(9-10):NP4788-NP4814. Epub 2018 Aug 23.

Binghamton University, NY, USA.

Rapes perpetrated during college are both common and underreported. Research highlights that several person- and incident-level factors relating to gender and sexuality may diminish reporting, by themselves and as they pertain to attributions of blame for the assault. In this study, male and female college students ( = 916) read vignettes describing a rape perpetrated by a man against a woman, a man against a man, or a woman against a man. Participants rated the blameworthiness of both perpetrator and victim and rated the likelihood that they would disclose the rape to social ties or health services or report it to authorities if they were in the victim's position. We found that male gender and heterosexual orientation predicted higher victim blame, lower perpetrator blame, and lower likelihood of disclosure, although relative endorsement of masculine gender ideology seemed to be driving these associations, as well as predicted lower likelihood of reporting to authorities. Controlling for other factors, vignettes portraying a woman raping a man led to a lower likelihood of disclosing or reporting the assault, compared with a male-on-female rape. We also found that the effects of female-on-male rape and traditional masculine ideologies tied to rape disclosure partially by decreasing blame to the perpetrator, which itself carried a unique influence on decisions to report. Our findings overall indicate that factors related to gender, sexuality, and blame have myriad influences and may contribute to low rates of disclosing rape to important outlets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0886260518795171DOI Listing
May 2021

Modern Prejudice and Same-Sex Parenting: Shifting Judgments in Positive and Negative Parenting Situations.

J GLBT Fam Stud 2013 ;9(2):129-151

Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

The current study compares the effects of traditional and modern anti-homosexual prejudice on evaluations of parenting practices of same-sex and opposite-sex couples. Undergraduate university student participants (N = 436) completed measures of traditional and modern anti-homosexual prejudice and responded to a vignette describing a restaurant scene in which parents react to their child's undesirable behavior. The parents' sexual orientation and the quality of their parenting (positive or negative quality) were varied randomly. It was predicted that participants who score higher in modern prejudice would rate the negative parenting behaviors of same-sex parents more negatively than similar behaviors in opposite-sex parents. It was also predicted that this modern prejudice effect would be most pronounced for male participants. Both hypotheses were supported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1550428X.2013.765257DOI Listing
January 2013

Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review.

Rev Gen Psychol 2012 Jun;16(2):161-176

The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington.

"Hookups," or uncommitted sexual encounters, are becoming progressively more engrained in popular culture, reflecting both evolved sexual predilections and changing social and sexual scripts. Hook-up activities may include a wide range of sexual behaviors, such as kissing, oral sex, and penetrative intercourse. However, these encounters often transpire without any promise of, or desire for, a more traditional romantic relationship. A review of the literature suggests that these encounters are becoming increasingly normative among adolescents and young adults in North America, representing a marked shift in openness and acceptance of uncommitted sex. We reviewed the current literature on sexual hookups and considered the multiple forces influencing hookup culture, using examples from popular culture to place hooking up in context. We argue that contemporary hookup culture is best understood as the convergence of evolutionary and social forces during the developmental period of emerging adulthood. We suggest that researchers must consider both evolutionary mechanisms and social processes, and be considerate of the contemporary popular cultural climate in which hookups occur, in order to provide a comprehensive and synergistic biopsychosocial view of "casual sex" among emerging adults today.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0027911DOI Listing
June 2012

Associations between dopamine D4 receptor gene variation with both infidelity and sexual promiscuity.

PLoS One 2010 Nov 30;5(11):e14162. Epub 2010 Nov 30.

Laboratory of Evolutionary Anthropology and Health, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, United States of America.

Background: Human sexual behavior is highly variable both within and between populations. While sex-related characteristics and sexual behavior are central to evolutionary theory (sexual selection), little is known about the genetic bases of individual variation in sexual behavior. The variable number tandem repeats (VNTR) polymorphism in exon III of the human dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) has been correlated with an array of behavioral phenotypes and may be predicatively responsible for variation in motivating some sexual behaviors, particularly promiscuity and infidelity.

Methodology/principal Findings: We administered an anonymous survey on personal history of sexual behavior and intimate relationships to 181 young adults. We also collected buccal wash samples and genotyped the DRD4 VNTR. Here we show that individuals with at least one 7-repeat allele (7R+) report a greater categorical rate of promiscuous sexual behavior (i.e., having ever had a "one-night stand") and report a more than 50% increase in instances of sexual infidelity.

Conclusions/significance: DRD4 VNTR genotype varies considerably within and among populations and has been subject to relatively recent, local selective pressures. Individual differences in sexual behavior are likely partially mediated by individual genetic variation in genes coding for motivation and reward in the brain. Conceptualizing these findings in terms of r/K selection theory suggests a mechanism for selective pressure for and against the 7R+ genotype that may explain the considerable global allelic variation for this polymorphism.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014162PLOS
November 2010
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