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This exploratory study investigated the influence of GHB use versus alcohol and intentionality on observer's feelings toward the victim and the perpetrator in a male-female rape scenario. The sample in this study consisted of 198 undergraduate students from a Northeastern college; the sample contained 130 females and was almost 80% Caucasian. The participants ranged in age from 18-48 but the mean was 19. Participants read one of four vignettes where a college female had attended a party and had ingested GHB or Everclear, a type of grain alcohol. In the different vignettes the female either ingested the substance voluntarily or was "slipped" the drug by a male, the vignette continued when the female became sleepy and the male brought her into his room and had sex with her, the victim attempted to verbally resist but felt too groggy to physically resist (Angelone, 2007, 286). The victim then reported the rape to police in the morning; the perpetrator claimed the sex was consensual. After the vignette participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire asking about victim and perpetrator culpability, victim pleasure, victim trauma, perpetrator guilt, and the likelihood the perpetrator will be found guilty (Angelone, 2007, 286). Overall the respondents found that the perpetrator was responsible for the crime, whether or not the victim chose to ingest the substance or not, also the participants felt the victim would be highly traumatized. Females were more likely to be sympathetic to the victim, being more likely to classify the situation as rape. Both males and females assigned more blame on the victim when she had voluntarily ingested either Everclear or GHB, also they put less blame on the perpetrator in the same situation, incidents like this were less likely to be considered rape by outside observers in this study.
Clum, G. A., Nishith, P. & Calhoun, K. S. (2002). A preliminary investigation of alcohol use during trauma and peritraumatic reactions in female sexual assault victims. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 15(4), 321-328.
This study looked to see the relationship between reports of alcohol use during a sexual assault and how the victim perceived the severity of the assault. This study looked at 57 college women from a Southeastern university who had been previously sexually assaulted, 84% were Caucasian and most were around the age of 19.
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Louselle, M & Foqua, W. R. (2007). Alcohol's effects on women's risk detection in a date-rape vignette. Journal of Americal College Health, 55(5), 261-266.
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1) The more alcohol a woman consumes the more likely she will become a victim of sexual assault.
a. The direction of association in this hypothesis is positive.
2) The independent variable is alcohol consumption.
a. Alcohol consumption can be assessed by a person's blood alcohol content, also by the frequency that the person drinks.
3) The dependent variable is sexual assault
a. Sexual assault is any sexual contact that is not wanted by one of the participants.
4) Alcohol consumption does not affect the likelihood of whether or not someone will become the victim of sexual assault.
5) As alcohol consumption goes up perception of risk of sexual assault goes down.
a. The direction of association in this hypothesis is negative.
6) The independent variable is alcohol
a. Alcohol consumption can be assessed by a person's blood alcohol content, also by the frequency that the person drinks.
7) The independent variable is risk perception.
a. Risk perception is a judgment a person makes about the situation they are in, and how much risk to personal safety, for example sexual assault, that this situation could have.
8) Alcohol consumption has no effect on risk perception in terms of sexual assault.