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Alcohol Consumption and Consent to Sex Examined

J Sex Res; ePub 2018 Sep 10; Drouin, Jozkowski, et al

Most people indicated that they could consent to sex (93%) and their friend could consent to sex (87%) in a recent study that examined the extent to which alcohol consumption affected perceptions of one’s own and one’s friend’s ability to consent to sexual activity. Researchers surveyed 160 adult bar-goers in pairs about their own and their friends’ alcohol consumption, intoxication symptoms, and ability to consent to sexual activity. They found:

  • On average, participants reported consuming 4.97 drinks, rated themselves at the legal limit for driving, reported 1 intoxication symptom, and had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) just >.08.
  • However, few thought they or their friend had diminished cognitive function.
  • Accordingly, number of drinks people reported consuming, self-reported intoxication levels and symptoms, and BACs were significantly correlated; however, none of these measures was significantly related to individuals’ perceptions of their own or their friends’ ability to consent to sexual activity.
  • Finally, those in man-man pairs were significantly more likely than those in woman-woman pairs to indicate they would allow their friend to have sex if approached by an interested party.

Citation:

Drouin M, Jozkowski KN, Davis J, Newsham G. How does alcohol consumption affect perceptions of one’s own and a drinking partner’s ability to consent to sexual activity? [Published online ahead of print September 10, 2018]. J Sex Res.

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