Embodying Uncertainty? Understanding Heightened Risk Perception of Drink 'Spiking'. / Burgess, Adam; Donovan, Pamela; Moore, Sarah E.H.

In: British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 49, No. 6, 2009, p. 848-862.

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
This open access research output is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

ID: 966353