Alcohol and drugs in rape and sexual assault

Lovett, Jo and Horvath, Miranda A. H. (2009) Alcohol and drugs in rape and sexual assault. In: Rape: challenging contemporary thinking. Horvath, Miranda A. H. and Brown, Jennifer M., eds. Willan Publishing, Cullompton, pp. 125-160. ISBN 9781843925200

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Abstract

The links between alcohol and sexual assault are now well established and have bee documented in both United Kingdom (UK) and international research (Abbey et al, 2001; Horvath & Brown, 2006a, 2007; Kelly, Lovett & Regan, 2005; Ullman, Karabastsos & Koss, 1999; Walby & Allen, 2004). Although research has identified that administration of alcohol and drugs as means of obtaining illicit sex is not a new phenomenon, it has been argued that the techniques for using alcohol and drugs to facilitate rape have changed and this issue is therefore worthy of renewed interest (Foote, Wangmann & Braff, 2004). This chapter brings together and compares findings from two large independent studies which collected data on the involvement of alcohol and drugs in cases of rape and sexual assault reported to the police and/or sexual assault referral centres. We seek to explore the complexities of alcohol-related sexual assault by outlining a common methodological approach which generates findings that take greater account of the role of the perpetrator, the broader assault context (e.g. the location and relationship between the parties) and other situational characteristics, (e.g. the type of intoxicants consumed and the nature of consumption). The aims of our chapter are to: • promote a broader and more nuanced understanding of the realities of alcohol-related rape, which, we argue, are commonly over-simplified in both academic and popular representations of this crime; • advance the view, based on research evidence, that alcohol is the drug most commonly associated with rape; • and to move beyond the tendency to focus solely on the role and characteristics of victims of alcohol-related sexual assault and incorporate perpetrator characteristics. Our purpose is to dispel some persistent myths about alcohol and drugs in rape in relation to types of substances consumed and the nature of consumption, context, victims and perpetrators. We will present findings from two datasets side by side which is not commonly done and will allow for direct comparison and the generation of new hypotheses.

Item Type:Book Section
Research Areas:Health & Education > Psychology
Law > Criminology
ID Code:6991
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Deposited On:14 Feb 2011 11:30
Last Modified:10 Oct 2013 06:05

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