Alcohol and Sexual Assault

  • Emily R. Mouilso
  • Lauren F. Wilson


Sexual assault is an endemic problem in our society, and alcohol use is consistently connected to sexual assault perpetration and victimization. However, the link between alcohol use and sexual assault is complex and a host of associated factors likely contribute. A variety of theories explaining the link have been developed and tested, including the use of alcohol as a perpetration tactic, alcohol myopia, gendered scripts and cultural expectations around alcohol use, routine activities theory, and reciprocal and bidirectional theories. We know a great deal about the role of alcohol, and many different types of studies have been used to further our understanding. Each type of study provides a different type of information and has its own strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of the type of study, future research should correct existing measurement and sample limitations, such as the lack of consensus definitions for important terms and lack of sample diversity. Addressing alcohol use and gendered scripts around alcohol has implications for sexual assault prevention and risk reduction and alcohol-related factors should be considered when providing treatment to victims and perpetrators.


Risk factor Binge drinking Alcohol-facilitated sexual assault Incapacitated rape Self-medication model Event-based study Alcohol administration study Prospective study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emily R. Mouilso
    • 1
  • Lauren F. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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