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Alcohol Availability Makes Sexual Assault More Likely

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A woman who is simply sitting beside an alcoholic drink is considered more sexually available, according to a study published in Drug and Alcohol Review. The results have implications for understanding how alcohol might contribute to sexual assault.

Deakin University psychologists examined whether the mere presence of alcohol could be used as a sexual cue. They found that men were more likely to perceive a woman sitting alongside a bottle of alcohol, not even actually drinking it, as being seductive, promiscuous or flirtatious.

“We know from previous studies that people who drink alcohol are perceived to be more sexually available than those who abstain, and that men see women who are drinking as more likely to consent to sex,” said the lead researcher of the study, Dr Eric Koukounas. “Approximately half of all sexual assaults are also associated with either the perpetrator and/or the victim having consumed alcohol.

“While research is pointing to exposure to alcohol as playing a significant role in how sexual information is processed, relatively little investigation has been made into how the simple presence of alcohol placement influences perceptions or behaviour.”

The study involved 147 sexually experienced men and women who were shown a video of a social interaction between a man and woman depicted with a bottle of water or alcohol. The...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.