Embodying Uncertainty? Understanding Heightened Risk Perception of Drink 'Spiking'

Adam Burgess, Pamela Donovan, Sarah E.H. Moore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    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 fi rst- or secondhand
    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)848-862
    JournalBritish Journal of Criminology
    Issue number6
    Early online date29 Jul 2009
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • drug-faciliatated sexual assault
    • personal safety
    • alcohol
    • gender
    • university student

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