The second theme that was discovered during the research was the different methods that perpetrators use to lure in their victims to be able to commit such terrible acts of sexual assault
The second theme that was discovered during the research was the different methods that perpetrators use to lure in their victims to be able to commit such terrible acts of sexual assault. Amongst perpetrators on college campuses the most common methods discussed in the research studies are alcohol consumption, drugs, sexual coercion, and easily accessible locations (Abbey et al., 1998, Abbey, 2002, Carr & VanDeusen, 2004, DeGue & DiLillo, 2004, Garrett, Gooding & Senter, 1987, Humphrey & Kahn, 2000, Loh et al., 2005, Martin & Hummer, 1989). According to the samples researchers Abbey, McAuslan, & Ross,1998 conducted, (74%) of the men knowingly supplied heavily amounts of alcohol to their victims and (55%) of women freely admitted having consumed large amounts of alcohol themselves. Significant research has proven that sexual assaults that are tied into alcohol consumption most often occur amongst college students who have shared a connection with each other and who happen to be acquaintances of those who they hang out with during parties (Abbey, 2002). In the study conducted by Carr & VanDeusen ,(2004) scholars have gathered that alcohol is a huge main factor of sexual assault because it can be used as a way of causing disinhibition and elevate the levels of sexual impulsivity. Male perpetrator use of alcohol gives the perpetrator an excuse to heighten their sexuality which in turn makes their intoxicated victims more susceptible to the decreased level of sensitivity to social cues by not making them alert to their surroundings, Loh et al., (2005).
Along with alcohol consumption, perpetrators also utilize drugs on their victims to facilitate sexual assaults by incapacitating their victims making their judgements easier to sway and unwilling to verbally consent to any sexual activity which results in them being a victim of sexual assault. For instance, most perpetrators use a variation of substances to drug their victims such as Rohypnol (date rape drug), gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), and ketamine, (Crawford et al., 2008). Studies have emphasized that these drugs used during drug-facilitated sexual assaults by perpetrators can heavily incapacitate and silence their victims by making them vulnerable to their surroundings by disabling their full awareness to fight back towards sexual assault attacks, Crawford et al., (2008). Rohypnol, GHB, and ketamine are the most popular drugs used in a sexual assault by perpetrators because they are the most fast acting drugs that produce the feeling of disinhibition amongst the victims. The most popular places where these drugs can be easily acquired are at gymnasiums, discos, clubs, and the internet. Furthermore, most victims cannot remember what happened following their sexual assault because the most common side effect of these popular drugs can cause anterograde amnesia. In connection to the amnesia the victim suffers it can also make it difficult for them to recall their sexual assault entirely making it hard for them to also identify their perpetrator and their actions that might have led on the sexual activity as well.
According to DeGue & DiLillo (2004), research studies showed that (22.4%) of males in college knowingly admitted to using sexual coercion to engage in sexual intercourse with an unwilling partner. Tactics perpetrators most often use when try to coerce a female victim into any sexual contact are the use of lies, guilt, false promises, heated arguments, and ignoring verbal requests to stop any unwanted physical contact (DeGue & DiLillo ,2004). Scholars DeGue & DiLillo (2004) have made the connection that sexual coercion on college campuses may be linked to negative connections the perpetrators might have had with their victims. Research study findings by Carr & VanDeusen (2004) indicated that male sexual coercion showed that apparently (23%) of college men knowingly admitted to intentionally getting their date drunk or high to engage in unwanted sexual intercourse by bringing their inhibition down and leaving them more vulnerable to their sexual coercion.
Perpetrators prey on their victims throughout many significant places on college campuses which are either locations that the perpetrator are comfortable in or have ease of access to without concerns of being caught. Most common locations that perpetrators tend to frequently chose to commit sexual assaults are the dormitory rooms of either the victim or themselves, apartments, fraternities, sororities, and the homes of the parents from the victim or perpetrator, specifically when on a date or where parties are occurring, (Abbey, 2002). Throughout much of the scholar’s research found by Humphrey ; Kahn (2000) it seems to be very well documented and known that fraternities and athletic teams are individuals who create a party atmosphere responsible for most sexual assaults that tend to occur on college campuses. Humphrey ; Kahn (2000) reported that parties from fraternities and athletic groups create non-conducive environments that open themselves up for sexual assault to be condoned by the perpetrators that visit these different locations to be able to easily victimize those students who are easily dropping their guard by giving in to the party life.
Research studies in this literature review all focused on the mindset of sexual assault perpetrators. Throughout all the research studies that were reviewed the most important factor to consider was the perpetrator characteristics which in turn helps to understand the mind of perpetrators who commit sexual assaults on college campuses. Overall the research stated that perpetrator sexual assault was closely related to male sexual aggression which then projected a negative perception of women. Perpetrators sought to overcome their victims by showing their male dominance towards the female victims. Most research that was gathered also concluded that the perpetrators who committed such terrible acts of sexual assault started off as victims of sexual assault themselves. Much research indicated that the methods perpetrators used involved many tactics such as alcohol, drugs, sexual coercion, and being aware of the locations that they frequent. It is very important that victims make themselves selves fully aware of the signs that a potential perpetrator displays on college campuses. According to research sexual assaults can occur anywhere such as on dates, parties, random circumstances, planned out circumstances, Martin ; Hummer (1989). Victims being aware of the characteristics perpetrators administer can also make them alert while in relationships.
A second important theme in this research is the over consumption of alcohol and drugs used by perpetrators towards victims. (Abbey, 2002; Abbey et al., 1998, Carr ; VanDeusen, 2004, Crawford et al., 2008, Loh et al., 2005). All throughout the research scholars concluded that alcohol and drugs are the main methods frequently used by perpetrators because when used it can create a sense of disinhibition and impairs the judgement of the victims. When alcohol and drugs are administered by the perpetrators to the victims they utilize specific locations, like parties or on dates, to make the victim’s guard drop during that time. Both alcohol and drugs are used as a tactic that perpetrates take advantage of due to the rape culture being highly disregarded by students on college campuses. Victims should be very mindful of the amount of alcohol that they consume and need to ensure that their drinks are not tampered with while on dates or at parties. Using alcohol as a weapon to engage in forcible sexual intercourse is commonly used by members of fraternities, Martin & Hummer, (1989). Perpetrators will hand out drinks directly to the victims or target unattended drinks, so they can slip drugs into the drinks of the victims to incapacitate them.
A common limitation to this research is the vague research explaining the risks preceding the sexual assault and how it affected the perpetrator. The limitations extend to the risks the perpetrator will have to endure from local authorities and risks they encountered from the administration of their college campus. This limitation undercuts some of the research because it does not include what happens to the perpetrator following the sexual assault attack. This research details the importance of the mindset of a perpetrator giving the insight of what leads a perpetrator to commit such heinous attacks of sexual assault.
Future research should include the consequences perpetrators faced in dealing with the aftermath of sexual assaults. It could be informative of the actions different schools take when faced with a rising crime like sexual assault. Furthermore, other research suggestions are the addition of showing how the statistics connected to sexual assault affect the findings to how much drugs and alcohol are heavily used throughout college campuses by the perpetrators. Knowing how frequent drugs and alcohol are used as a way of disinhibiting can improve the research by figuring out the increasing use of certain drugs in an effort to assist the college campuses to either crack down on certain parties to avoid sexual assaults to the students. Nevertheless, college campuses should consider limiting the amount of alcohol that is consumed at parties by enforcing a policy that can prohibit alcohol at parties during certain hours of the day. Also, college campuses can create “dry” dormitories for students who wish to stay away from drugs and alcohol in an effort of creating more safe spaces for their students.
This literature review serves the purpose of informing the victims of sexual assault attacks on college campuses of what to look for amongst the potential perpetrators. Knowing the signs of a potential perpetrator can help increase the chances of a victim preventing an attack towards them or even towards another classmate. It also teaches them to be very cautious when attending different parties around campus and being able to look for cues that can ensure their safety, like getting their own drink or even bringing their own drinks to ensure no tampering. This research can be very pertinent to college campuses making its students aware of safety procedures that the college campus implements to help keep them safe. It is also important informing them of locations that can create unsafe environments, like parties off campus, and to look out for where sexual assaults tend to occur most often.