New Study Suggests Alcohol Does Not Blur Out Memories of Sexual Assault | Harbor Village Florida - Harbor Village

New Study Suggests Alcohol Does Not Blur Out Memories of Sexual Assault

It is not uncommon for sexual assault victims to have their credibility questioned, especially if they were under the influence of alcohol when the alleged assault took place. Sexual assualt victims often have their motives and honesty questioned, as well as their ability to state accurate facts. However, a new study conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK, have found that alcohol does not stop women from accurately remembering being sexually assaulted or rape, according to Bustle.

The team of researchers studied a sample of 88 women between the ages of 18 and 31 at the University of Leicester in UK, where the legal drinking limit is 18 years old. While half of the participants were placed into a control group and given plan tonic water to drink, the other half consumed enough vodka tonic drinks to reach a blood alcohol content of around .08. The women then participated in an activity similar to a “choose your own adventure” story, in which they were placed in a scenario involving a sexual encounter. If the participants chose the option to stop the sexual encounter, the scenario turned into a non-consensual sexual activity, and the women then read a sexual assault scenario based on real rape incidents.

Afterwards, each of the female participants were asked to recall specific details which took place in their hypothetical assault twice. The first time was 24 hours after reading the story, and they were then asked again four months later. Although it became more difficult for each of the participants to remember minor details, all of the women were able to accurately recall the most important parts of what took place. Researchers did find that the group of women who consumed alcohol were more likely to respond that they didn’t know or remember details, however when they did remember, their answers were just as accurate as the women who had not been drinking.

The researchers concluded that alcohol does make you more likely to forget things but when it comes to what a person does recall, alcohol does not make them remember details inaccurately. Further research needs to be conducted for the study’s results to hold validity, especially since the study was small and the participants were only moderate to highly buzzed and real victims could be more intoxicated at their time of assault. However, if researchers can verify that alcohol doesn’t make sexual assault victims unreliable, it will be helpful in a lot cases due to rape victims often being dismissed or discredited if alcohol was involved.

 

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