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UK Report Calls Date-Rape Drug a Myth

Well this is depressing. A UK Daily Mail article titled Date-Rape Drug? No Dear, You Just Had Too Much to Drink claims that date-rape drugs are mostly an urban myth. The paper quotes academic research, recently published in the British Journal of Criminology, to argue that women are "willing to 'hide behind' the idea that a stranger poured poison in their drink — rather than face up to the fact that they had simply been binge drinking."

The original report claims that women often confuse binge-drinking induced blackouts and dizziness with drink-spiking, and researchers worry that this could cause women to be less careful about more common factors that put them at risk for rape — like heavy drinking. Unfortunately, this attitude suggests that because women are responsible for their binge drinking, they're also responsible for any assault they might endure. (What about the rapist?)

In addition, the authors say that "despite popular beliefs, police have found no evidence rape victims are commonly drugged with substances such as rohypnol." It seems like quite a leap to say that women getting drugged and then raped is an urban myth just because it might not be as common as a drunk woman getting raped.

It's troubling that some experts and the media cannot find a way to remind people about the dangers associated with binge drinking without discrediting women who have been victims of sexual abuse.

Image Source: Getty
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mermei mermei 6 years
I actually don't see anything wrong with the article, though the headline is too sensationalistic for my taste. But the bulk of it is about a university study, in which researchers found "Drink tampering was rated as a more significant factor in sexual-assault than drug taking, being drunk or walking at night in a high-crime area." So basically, girls think being drugged is a more likely threat to them than any physical threat coming from drinking oneself into a stupor or other activities. But it's not. That's not coming anywhere near saying that women are at fault for being raped or that one is more rape than another; that is saying that if you want to reduce your chances of becoming a victim, you can do so by understanding what the high risk activities are. Being dead drunk without friends (who are mostly sober, at least) watching your back is risky. And bad things happen from that more often than from being drugged, so don't just watch your drinks, count them.
mermei mermei 6 years
I actually don't see anything wrong with the article, though the headline is too sensationalistic for my taste. But the bulk of it is about a university study, in which researchers found "Drink tampering was rated as a more significant factor in sexual-assault than drug taking, being drunk or walking at night in a high-crime area." So basically, girls think being drugged is a more likely threat to them than any physical threat coming from drinking oneself into a stupor or other activities. But it's not. That's not coming anywhere near saying that women are at fault for being raped or that one is more rape than another; that is saying that if you want to reduce your chances of becoming a victim, you can do so by understanding what the high risk activities are. Being dead drunk without friends (who are mostly sober, at least) watching your back is risky. And bad things happen from that more often than from being drugged, so don't just watch your drinks, count them.
doogirl doogirl 6 years
The Daily Mail is a lie filled paper! Date rape drugs do exist, a woman is not to blame for going out and having a few drinks! I hate this topic!
trippytexan trippytexan 6 years
Of course women (and men!) should try to control themselves while drinking in order to avoid unfortunate circumstances. But does that mean that a man who rapes a blacked-out drunk girl is any less of a rapist than one who rapes a blacked-out date-rape drugged girl? No-- rape is rape. It's one thing to encourage women to take care of themselves, but it is completely another to imply that the fault of rape lies with the victim or that the victim is just lying about being drugged.
mix-tape mix-tape 6 years
Pistil: because that wouldn't sell or catch many readers' eyes!! This is very unfortunate! But yes, women need to be careful how much they drink and who they surround themselves with when they go out! Date rape is still very common. I go to college and I recently saw the posted felonies for the week here and a man was just arrested for selling roofies in mass quantity. Makes me very scared!!
mix-tape mix-tape 6 years
Pistil: because that wouldn't sell or catch many readers' eyes!! This is very unfortunate! But yes, women need to be careful how much they drink and who they surround themselves with when they go out! Date rape is still very common. I go to college and I recently saw the posted felonies for the week here and a man was just arrested for selling roofies in mass quantity. Makes me very scared!!
Pistil Pistil 6 years
Ugh, I don't know why I bothered to read the comments on that article. Why turn this into a news item? Why not write an article encouraging self-control and responsible drinking, instead of claiming date-rape is a "myth"?
Pistil Pistil 6 years
Ugh, I don't know why I bothered to read the comments on that article.Why turn this into a news item? Why not write an article encouraging self-control and responsible drinking, instead of claiming date-rape is a "myth"?
Advah Advah 6 years
Well, that's the Daily Mail for you.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
*I meant "obviously the police haven't commonly found evidence of it." I'm sure they have in some cases, but how can they be surprised that incapacitated people aren't getting to the police in a timely manner?
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
The slant they put on it is really the damaging part of this study. Just because more men take advantage of women who are already wasted instead of drugging them does not make date rape drugs an "urban myth" Very sad for rape victims
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
Well obviously police haven't found evidence of it . . . It leaves your system within less than a day, and it's not like someone is going to be able to make their way to the police station when they're out cold!
laurelm laurelm 6 years
I have been drugged twice (luckily both times I was with many trusted friends) I have also been very drunk before, there is no confusing of the two, they are vastly different and so was my reaction, my friends knew something was wrong.
laurelm laurelm 6 years
I have been drugged twice (luckily both times I was with many trusted friends) I have also been very drunk before, there is no confusing of the two, they are vastly different and so was my reaction, my friends knew something was wrong.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 6 years
Well, the Daily Mail is obviously going to try to make this study sound especially sensational, but I don't think the study itself is discrediting victims of sexual abuse. The point is just that women seem to be more afraid of someone slipping something in their drink than they are that someone will take advantage of them when they have had too much to drink. One of those scenarios is very preventable, but for whatever reason, people focus much more on the rarer situation and don't take steps to make sure that they don't get too drunk and put themselves at extra risk.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
This is disgusting! I had a friend who one night had date-rape slipped into her drink. Luckily she was with a bunch of us girls and when some guy who was talking with her kept trying to say he was going to take her home because she was too drunk to be out, we refused to let her go. We knew she had not drank that much and yet she was stumbling on her feet, was completely out of it and was unaware of her surroundings. We got her to the car, where she passed out and peed on herself and then proceeded to begin vomiting violently, which prompted us to get her to the ER. I wish I knew who the guy was because I would have reported him. It does happen - not all women are irresponsible binge-drinkers!
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