Date-rape drug? No dear, you just had too much to drink
- From: "MCP" <gf010w5035@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 16:46:20 -0000
By Daniel Martin
Date-rape drugs are largely an urban myth used as an excuse by women who
booze themselves into a stupor, it has been claimed.
They are willing to 'hide behind' the idea that a stranger poured poison in
their drink - rather than face up to the fact that they had simply been
Interviews with more than 200 female students in and around London revealed
they often mistakenly linked sickness, blackouts and dizziness to poisoning
by a stranger, when excessive alcohol consumption is much more likely to be
Dr Adam Burgess, from the University of Kent school of social policy, said
rumours about the prevalence of date-rape drugs were little more than an
This led young women to underestimate real risks of alcohol misuse, which
can include impaired judgment putting them at risk of sexual assault.
'The reason why fear of drink-spiking has become widespread seems to be a
mix of it being more convenient to guard against than the effects of alcohol
itself and the fact that such stories are exotic - like a more adult version
of "stranger danger".'
The study, published in the British Journal of Criminology, found that three
quarters of students identified drink-spiking as leading to an important
risk of sexual assault - more than drinking too much alcohol.
Drink tampering was rated as a more significant factor in sexual-assault
than drug taking, being drunk or walking at night in a high-crime area.
More than half of those in the survey said they knew someone who claimed to
have had drugs slipped into their drink.
But despite such popular beliefs, police have found no evidence that rape
victims are commonly drugged with substances such as rohypnol.
Dr Burgess said: 'There have hardly been any cases where it has been proved
that sedatives such as rohypnol and GHB have been used in a rape incident.
Yet it has been a storyline that has appeared in virtually every TV soap.
'Maybe that tells us something about the programmes these women are
watching. But it is concerning that women are more concerned about something
that is incredibly unlikely ever to happen to them.'
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