Taylor & Francis
School of Arts and Humanities
Australian Government through an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship
Many patrons in nightlife settings around the world experience and engage in behavior that some find distressing and others find a useful method of interacting with potential sexual partners. Some of these behaviors nevertheless meet the World Health Organizations’ definition of sexual violence. Recent research suggests the social norms in Australian nightlife settings might be encouraging patrons to engage in or tolerate sexual violence when it occurs, even though it violates their own personal norms. Our main aim was to clarify young Australian nightlife patrons’ personal and descriptive norms regarding three sexual behaviors (Kissing, Grabbing and Grinding), to identify their injunctive norms, and to investigate how gender and consent affected these norms. A further aim was to explore the relationships between the different types of social norms to understand how they work together to influence and perpetuate nightlife patrons’ perceptions of these behaviors. We used an anonymous online survey to collect data from 197 young Australian nightlife patrons. We found that both genders think these behaviors are significantly more unacceptable than they think their peers do and are less acceptable if performed by men, yet they believe these behaviors are typical of men.