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Frequent bar visitors more likely to become sex offenders

December 12, 2016 03:45 PM

Punjab News Express
NEW YORK: Male students who frequently go to bars or parties are more likely to assault a woman over the first five semesters of college, suggests new research.

The study found no evidence that male students' binge drinking per se boosted their odds of becoming a perpetrator, but his likelihood of being a perpetrator increased during semesters in which he attended parties or bars more than his usual amount.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, suggest that "drinking setting" -- rather than drinking, per se -- might be key.

"People drawn to these settings may be at higher risk," said lead researcher Maria Testa from the Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, New York.

That is, a student who heads to a bar or party might be more interested in sex than one who is content staying in the dorm and watching television, she said.

The findings are based on surveys of nearly 1,000 US college men. They were first surveyed as freshmen and then again at the end of each of the next five semesters.

Overall, almost 18 per cent admitted to sexually assaulting a woman at some point during the study period. That included forced intercourse, "attempted" intercourse, and "unwanted contact."

The students were also asked about binge drinking, defined as having five or more drinks in a row.

The researchers found that men who frequently went to bars or parties were more likely to be perpetrators.

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