Embodying Uncertainty?: Understanding Heightened Risk Perception of Drink ‘Spiking’

Posted: 26 Oct 2009

See all articles by Adam Burgess

Adam Burgess

Independent

Pamela Donovan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

There is a stark contrast between heightened perceptions of risk associated with drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA) and a lack of evidence that this is a widespread threat. Through surveys and interviews with university students in the United Kingdom and United States, we explore knowledge and beliefs about drink-spiking and the linked threat of sexual assault. University students in both locations are not only widely sensitized to the issue, but substantial segments claim first- or second-hand experience of particular incidents. We explore students’ understanding of the DFSA threat in relationship to their attitudes concerning alcohol, binge-drinking, and responsibility for personal safety. We suggest that the drink-spiking narrative has a functional appeal in relation to the contemporary experience of young women's public drinking.

Keywords: drug-facilitated sexual assault, uncertainty, personal safety, drugs, alcohol, universities

Suggested Citation

Burgess, Adam and Donovan, Pamela, Embodying Uncertainty?: Understanding Heightened Risk Perception of Drink ‘Spiking’ (November 2009). The British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 49, No. 6, pp. 848-862, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1493055 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azp049

Adam Burgess

Independent

Pamela Donovan (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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