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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200684 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Alcohol and Sexual Assault
Journal: Alcohol Research & Health  Volume:25  Issue:1  Dated:2001  Pages:43-51
Author(s): Antonia Abbey Ph.D.; Tina Zawacki M.A.; Philip O. Buck M.A.; A. Monique Clinton M.A.; Pam McAuslan Ph.D.
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health and Human Services
Rockville, MD 20892-9304
Type: Issue Overview; Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article summarizes current knowledge about alcohol's influence in sexual assault and discusses issues that should be addressed by future research.
Abstract: The article alternates between providing information about sexual assault in general and contrasting this information with findings on alcohol-involved sexual assaults. Conservative estimates indicate that at least 25 percent of American women have been sexually assaulted in adolescence or adulthood and that 18 percent have been raped. At least 20 percent of American men report having perpetrated sexual assault, and 5 percent report having committed rape. Across the disparate populations studied, researchers have consistently found that approximately one-half of all sexual assaults are committed by men who have been drinking alcohol. This finding, however, does not prove that alcohol use causes sexual assault, since certain factors may lead to both alcohol consumption and sexual assault. Surveys of victims and perpetrators of sexual assault cannot unequivocally show a cause-effect relationship between alcohol consumption and sexual assault; and laboratory studies cannot measure actual responses to sexual assault. Therefore, researchers must conduct both types of studies. Pathways through which alcohol consumption contributes to sexual assault include perpetrators' personality characteristics, attitudes, and experiences; victims' personality characteristics, attitudes, and experiences; situational factors; general research on alcohol's effects on aggressive and sexual behavior; and alcohol's effects in sexual assault situations. The author's note that beliefs about alcohol's effects on sexual and aggressive behavior, stereotypes about drinking women, and alcohol's effects on cognitive and motor skills contribute to alcohol-involved sexual assault. In discussing future research needs, the article lists research questions whose answers will enable scientists to address more complex hypotheses about alcohol's role in sexual assault. A glossary and 27 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Alcohol-crime relationship; Rape causes; Sexual assault; Sexual assault victims
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