For College Sexual Assault Perpetrators, It May Be Not How Much You Drink But Where You Drink

A new study by researchers at Washington State University and the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York, found that not only does alcohol play a major role in the incidence of sexual assault on campus but where students drink can have a major impact.

The study examined the behaviors regarding partying, alcohol consumption, and sexual history of more than 1,000 heterosexual men throughout their college careers. The results showed that college men’s presence at “drinking venues” such as frat houses or local bars was a better predictor of sexual aggression than binge-drinking behavior or propensity for casual sex. In short, the atmosphere where college men drink, not just the drinking itself, is a better predictor of whether college men engage in sexual assault.

The authors conclude that “college men who more frequently attended drinking ‘hot spots’ were more likely to perpetrate subsequent sexual aggression, supporting a growing body of evidence on the importance of drinking venues in college sexual assault.”

The authors go on to state that “although most college sexual assault prevention efforts have focused on reducing the vulnerability of women, our results suggest efforts that focus on potential perpetrators’ behaviors may also be fruitful.”

The full study, “Examining the Roles of Heavy Episodic Drinking, Drinking Venues, and Sociosexuality in College Men’s Sexual Aggression,” was published on the website of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/StudySexual Assault/Harassment


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