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Alcohol and Sexual Aggression

You've had a few to drink. You're not exactly in any condition to make good decisions. So, it's totally not your fault you grabbed that chick's boob. Your thinking was impaired. You are totally a great guy when sober. Rilly.


In a study of sexual aggression in bars researchers have found that the invasiveness and persistence of unwanted come-ons is not correlated with how much the perpetrator has had to drink, but is instead related to how drunk the person on the receiving end seems to be. The paper, aptly titled "Blurred Lines? Sexual Aggression and Barroom Culture," after the summer hit by Robin Thicke, was published earlier this week in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. "Its not a blurred line, its a pretty easy line," says Kathryn Graham, senior scientist at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto and co-author of the paper. "The whole culture that thinks blurred lines is some kind of truth or inevitability, from our data, is a little bit astray."
William H. George, a psychologist at the University of Washington who studies how alcohol influences sexual health and behavior, says that consuming alcohol often turns sexual aggression into a self-fulfilling prophecy if the perpetrator enters the situation with the widely held cultural belief that drinking makes people more sexually uninhibited.

Tina Zawacki, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, agrees with that assessment. "It could be that drinkers use intoxication as an excuse to engage in a number of socially unacceptable behaviors, including sexual harassment and sexual assault."


Graham and her colleagues note that the men in the study appeared to harass women for the amusement of their friends, who in many cases would egg them on. For this reason, the authors endorse the adoption of preventative strategies that encourage bystanders to intervene, rather than trying to unfairly limit women's behavior. They cite their own "Safer Bars" program adopted by more than 300 bars and clubs in the Toronto area, which trains bar managers and bouncers to step in when they see troubling behavior in their establishment, as an example of an intervention that has shown promise in reducing sexual aggression.

Yes, let's please stop putting the onus on the victim. Ofc people should always take some precautions to ensure their safety in every aspect of life. Look before stepping into a street. Don't talk to strangers. Drink responsibly. I got it. But we don't go around saying "Well, you shouldn't have gone and gotten yourself stabbed.". So why is it ok to say "Well, you shouldn't have gone and gotten raped."?

While i'm being cautious and whatnot, shouldn't there be more focus on everybody doing what they can to prevent sexual aggression? The message shouldn't be "Hey, ladies, don't get drunk and end up raped.". It should be "Hey, everybody, acting like this is wrong. Don't do it. Don't let your friends do it.". As the article states, there's a cultural shift that needs to be made. We're not there yet.

By min | March 7, 2014, 10:51 AM | Liberal Outrage & Science


So someone that tried to rape someone while drunk isn't a nice person while sober? It's a pity nobody told Sam Wilson that: