Study Finds That Alcohol Intoxication Does Not Impact Women’s Ability to Recall a Sexual Assault

A study conducted at the University of Birmingham in England has found that women can recall the events of sexual assault and rape with accuracy, even if they were intoxicated at the time.

The study demonstrated that women who were intoxicated to the legal limit for driving were able to give details of an assault, including ‘details of activities to which they had, and had not, consented.’

Acute alcohol intoxication has a significant impact on criminal proceedings, with up to 80 percent of victims reported to have been alcohol intoxicated when their attack occurred.

Professor Heather Flowe, who is part of the University’s School of Psychology, and led the research, said: “We know that sexual assault frequently coincides with alcohol intoxication. This means that, during trials, victims’ and witnesses’ accounts will often be contested, which is one of the reasons why so few cases lead to conviction for defendants and this needs to change.”

Professor Flowe joined the University of Birmingham in 2017. She earned a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of California, San Diego.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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