Note: The exact stats on the level between the use of alcohol or other drugs and sexual assault varies- but it always consistently high. The last study I heard about had the percentage between 70 and 80% for assaults at college campuses. A study done a few years back, specific to Syracuse University, had the percentage at 90%.
ALCOHOL AND RAPE WHAT'S THE CONNECTION
(adapted from "Acquaintance Rape and Alcohol Consumption on College Campuses," by Antonia Abbey, PhD, Journal of American College Health. Vol. 39, January 1991)
Alcohol use by the victim or perpetrator is frequently associated with acquaintance rape. In one study, 26 percent of the men who acknowledged committing sexual assault on a date reported being intoxicated at the time of the assault. An additional 29 percent reported being "mildly buzzed," Thus, a total of 55 Percent were under the influence of alcohol. In the same study, 21 percent of the college women who experienced sexual aggression on a date were intoxicated at the time of the assault. An additional 32 percent reported being "mildly buzzed." Thus, a total of 53 percent were under the influence of alcohol.
The Effects of Alcohol on Men
Men expect to feel more powerful, sexual and aggressive after drinking alcohol. Expectancies have power of their own, independent of any genuine physiological processes . When people expect a certain outcome, they tend to act in ways that enhance the likelihood that the outcome will occur. For example, if a man feels powerful and strong after drinking alcohol, then he is more likely to assert his viewpoints forcefully and to end up in a verbal or physical argument. Studies show that men who think they have been drinking alcohol (whether or not they really have) feel sexually aroused and are more responsive to erotic stimuli and rape scenarios. Many studies show that men are more likely than women to interpret a variety of verbal and nonverbal cues as evidence that a woman is interested in having sex with a man. For example, males were more likely than females to rate revealing clothing, secluded date locations such as his room or the beach, drinking alcohol, complimenting a date, and tickling a date as more indicative of a desire to have sexual intercourse. The tradition of female reluctance and male persistence makes it easy for men to ignore the woman's "no" and force sex on a genuinely unwilling partner. Both the man and the woman might not view this situation as rape. But if sex occurred without verbal consent, or force was used to obtain sex against the woman's will, then what happened is legally defined as rape. Alcohol consumption by men is likely to enhance the likelihood that misperception will occur and lead to sexual assault. For example, for some men going out on a date or going to a party includes an initial hypothesis that sex will occur. Drinking alcohol may cause men to interpret or reinterpret a woman' s behavior as a sign of her desire to have sex with him-in a way that fits his initial hypothesis. And he will ignore what she is doing or saying that shows that she is not interested in sex. If a man starts out on a date thinking, "I'm going to have sex," he is starting out with a hypothesis that doesn't take the other person into account. It is a rape mentality. Alcohol may be a catalyst, but it is not the cause of the rape. If you choose to drink, you are responsible for what you do because of that choice. Alcohol consumption is no justification or excuse for rape. But misperception is not the only factor, The majority of acquaintance rapes are planned in advance by the perpetrator.
The Effects of Alcohol on Women
Alcohol consumption may cause women to ignore or miss cues that suggest an assault is likely . It may keep a woman from realizing that her friendly behavior is being perceived as seduction. (Research studies have shown that men are inclined to misperceive a woman's friendliness as a sign of sexual interest.) Drinking may keep a woman from noticing a man's attempts to get her into an isolated location or his encouragement to drink even more. Alcohol consumption may also decrease the likelihood that women can successfully resist an assault, either verbally or physically. Men frequently feel justified in forcing sex on women who, they believe, have been leading them on or are being sexual teases. Legally sexual provocation, whether intentional or not, is not justification for rape; sex with someone unable to give consent (e.g. drunk) is also rape. There are many stereotypes about women who drink alcohol. One common belief is that women who drink alcohol are more sexually available than women who do not drink. The results of one study showed that a woman who had a few alcoholic drinks was viewed as more likely than a woman who drank only soft drinks to respond positively to a sexual advance, as more willing to be seduced, and as more likely to engage in sexual intercourse. Another study showed that men were more likely than women to assume that a woman who drank alcohol with her date was interested in having sex with him. Forty percent of the men who took part in this study felt that it was acceptable to force sex on a drunk date. In a different study 75 percent of a group of acknowledged date rapists said that they sometimes got women drunk in order to increase the likelihood of having sex with them. Many date rape victims report that their attacker fed them drinks for several hours before the attack. Women who were drunk when raped are often viewed by others as partially responsible for what happened. Interviews with a group of college students showed that the male attacker was held less responsible for the rape when he was intoxicated than he was when he was reported as being sober. In contrast, the female victim was held more responsible when she was intoxicated than when she was reported as being sober. Thus, in terms of how others will perceive their behavior, the costs of intoxication are higher for college women than for college men. Nonetheless, if a woman who has been drinking is raped, the rape is never her fault. Rape is always the responsibility of the rapist. She is responsible for drinking, and the drinking may have shown bad judgement, but bad judgement is not a rapeable offense.
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