The high incidence of date rape on college campuses may be due to the use of

The high incidence of date rape on college campuses

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The high incidence of date rape on college campuses may be due to the use of alcohol and recreational drugs (Abbey, Zawacki, Buck et al., 2001). While alcohol and drug use do not cause sexual assault, it contributes to the higher frequency of assault in a couple of key ways. For example, the desire to commit sexual violence may actually lead to alco- hol consumption by a male perpetrator before committing a sexual assault in order to justify his behavior. In addition, among college-age males, fraternities often encourage both heavy drinking and the sexual exploitation of women (Abbey, Zawacki, Buck et al., 2001; Sanday, 2007). The high incidence of date rape among college students can also be attributed to the culture of the college campus, which may not have protection built into it, as we will explore later in the chapter. Date Rape Drugs A popular film, The Hangover, tells the story of four men who go to Las Vegas for a bachelor party and wake up the next morning with no recollection of what happened the night before. They had accidentally taken the drug Rohypnol. Sexual predators use this powerful drug and other similar substances to overcome their victims and leave them with no memory of the events under its influence. Rohypnol is one of the substances that are referred to as date rape drugs. Date rape drugs are fast-acting sedatives that are virtually undetectable because th ey are tasteless, odorless, and colorless. They are easily slipped into drinks and food causing people to lose consciousness but remain sexually responsive with little or no memory of what hap- pens (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). Without any memory of events, victims are often unaware that th ey have even been raped, and if they are aware or have suspicions about it, they are unreliable witnesses because of their memory loss. The three most common date rape drugs are Rohypnol, G HB, and Ketamine. Table 14.2 lists different names for these drugs. Rohypnol, a pill with the chemical name ftunitrazepam, dissolves in liquids. Some pills are small, round, and white. Others are green-gray and oval. The green-gray ones have a dye in them that turns clear liquids bright blue and darker drinks cloudy, but these changes may be difficult to see in dark rooms. The effects of this substance can be felt within 30 minutes after being drugged and can last for several hours. Rohypnol is not legal in the United States, but it is legal in Mexico and Europe, where it is often prescribed for sleep problems and to assist with anesthesia before surgery (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008). GHB is short for gamma hydroxybutyric acid and comes in three forms: a liquid with no odor or color, a white powder, and a pill. It may give drinks a slightly salty taste, although mixing it with a sweet drink such as fruit juice can mask the saltiness. GHB takes effect in about 15 minutes and can last 3 or 4 hours. It is very potent, so it is easy to overdose. It is legal in the United States as a treatment for the sleep disorder narcolepsy (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2008).

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