ABSTRACT

One aim of this book is to explore how various emotions (and moods and visceral factors) infl uence criminal decision making, what Peters et al . ( 2006 : 81) refer to as the role of emotions as a ‘spotlight’ focusing attention on particular factors within a decision. Loewenstein ( 1996 ) outlined how visceral states, including sexual arousal focus attention on factors consistent with the state (e.g. a potential partner’s attractiveness), and limit the attention paid to other considerations (e.g. costs). Other chapters examine the role of anticipated emotions as potential costs or benefi ts within a decision (see in this volume: Sariti Kamerdze et al ., Chapter 8 ; Tibbetts, Chapter 12 ; Van Gelder et al ., Chapter 9 ). This chapter follows Loewenstein’s ( 1996 ) work on visceral states as they infl uence decisions, specifi cally the infl uence of one’s immediately experienced sexual arousal on the use of ‘sexual coercion’. Anderson and Savage ( 2005 : 131) categorize these kinds of behaviour into three groups: ‘seduction’ (non-aggressive strategies, like dressing in certain clothes or offering massages), ‘coercion’ (using psychological or verbal pressure to obtain sex) and ‘force’ (e.g. hitting, holding someone down). This classifi cation is used in the current study, however non-aggressive ‘seduction’ tactics are not examined, as the broader focus of this effort is on decision making related to criminal acts. Given that little research has explored such attention focusing effects within women’s decision making the study will also examine the similarity of these effects in men and women.