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Title: Exploring experiences of, and perspectives towards, alcohol intoxication and non-consensual sex amongst a student and legal population
Author: Gunby, Clare E.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2707 8887
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2011
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The association between consuming alcohol and experiencing non-consensual sex is now largely established. Little research however has addressed English students' experiences of nonconsensual sex when drinking and the alcohol related strategies used to procure intercourse. Study one of the PhD therefore carried out an online survey to address students' (N= 1,079) attitudes, understandings and experiences of alcohol involved non-consensual sex, also gaining insight into men's non-consensual encounters; a previously neglected participant group. The consumption of alcohol plior to rape impacts on perceptions of complainant credibility and academics have questioned the contribution of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in the prosecution of alcohol involved rape cases specifically. Study two consequently carried out interviews with barristers (N= I 4) to establish the baniers that exist to the successful prosecution of alcohol involved rape cases, the application and usefulness of provisions introduced by the 2003 Act and where problems in the law of intoxication were still perceived to exist. Research documents that individuals endorse beliefs around false rape allegations being frequently made and surmise that alcohol consumption increases the potential for a false rape report. Study three therefore carried out focus group discussions with students to develop further understanding of alcohol involved non-consensual sex and the perceived role of alcohol within the false rape reporting process. Findings indicated that 30.7 percent (N=329) of participants had experienced at least one act of alcohol involved non-consensual oral, anal, or vaginal sex since the age of 14, that provisions introduced by the 2003 Act were not always being utilised as intended and that it was the perceived impact of alcohol on sexual inhibitions that was deemed central in encouraging individuals to behave in ways they would not if sober, regret those actions the next day, and increase the potential for a false rape report to be made. Studies emphasised that alcohol consumption disproportionately impacted on the credibility of the complainant, rather than the culpability of the defendant, and that future messages must emphasise the responsibility placed on defendants to take proactive steps in ensuring consent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman ; RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine