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Heavy alcohol use, coupled with inexperience with drinking, puts young women in serious jeopardy for sexual assault. About 10 percent of female students who are frequent binge drinkers report being raped or subjected to nonconsensual sex, compared to only 3 percent of non bingeing female students. Furthermore, most campus rapes occur after heavy drinking.
The present study indicates that 1 in 20 college women experienced rape since the beginning of the school year. Moreover, 72% of these rapes occurred when victims were so intoxicated that they were unable to consent. Certain women are at increased risk of being raped while intoxicated, particularly those who attend colleges with higher levels of heavy episodic drinking and who belong to or live in sororities.
Rape is more common on college campuses with higher rates of binge drinking and alcohol use is a central factor in most college rapes, finds a new study released today.
Overall, one in 20 (4.7 percent) women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year a period of approximately 7 months and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse. These were among the findings of a study of 119 schools nationwide, by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, Saint Josephs University and the University of Arizona, published in the January 2004 issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol.
Most significantly, women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had more than a 1.5-fold increased chance of being raped while intoxicated than those from schools with low binge- drinking rates.