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Bill Cosby testified in 2005 that he got Quaaludes with the intent of giving them to young women he wanted to have sex with, and he admitted giving the sedative to at least one woman and “other people,” according to documents obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The AP had gone to court to compel the release of the documents; Cosby’s lawyers had objected on the grounds that it would embarrass their client.

The 77-year-old comedian was testifying under oath in a lawsuit filed by a former Temple University employee. He testified he gave her three half-pills of Benadryl.

Cosby settled that sexual-abuse lawsuit for undisclosed terms in 2006.

My only worry is that this will start up a Satanic Panic around date-rape drugs again. There’s no evidence for their widespread use to obtain sex, with one exception.

Alcohol.

Heavy alcohol consumption also has been linked to sexual assault perpetration. In studies involving two different subject groups (i.e., incarcerated rapists and college students), men who reported that they drank heavily (The term “heavy drinking” is defined differently by each researcher and therefore is used here as in the original articles cited) were more likely than other men to report having committed sexual assault (Abbey et al. 1994; Koss and Dinero 1988). General alcohol consumption could be related to sexual assault through multiple path-ways. First, men who often drink heavily also likely do so in social situations that frequently lead to sexual assault (e.g., on a casual or spontaneous date at a party or bar). Second, heavy drinkers may routinely use intoxication as an excuse for engaging in socially unacceptable behavior, including sexual assault (Abbey et al. 1996b). Third, certain personality characteristics (e.g., impulsivity and antisocial behavior) may increase men’s propensity both to drink heavily and to commit sexual assault (Seto and Barbaree 1997).

Certain alcohol expectancies have also been linked to sexual assault. For example, alcohol is commonly viewed as an aphrodisiac that increases sexual desire and capacity (Crowe and George 1989). Many men expect to feel more powerful, disinhibited, and aggressive after drinking alcohol. To assess the influence of such expectancies on perceptions of sexual behavior, Norris and Kerr (1993) asked sober college men to read a story about a man forcing a date to have sex. Study participants reported that they would be more likely to behave like the man in the story when they were drunk, rather than when they were sober, suggesting that they could imagine forcing sex when intoxicated. Further-more, college men who had perpetrated sexual assault when intoxicated expected alcohol to increase male and female sexuality more than did college men who perpetrated sexual assault when sober (Abbey et al. 1996b). Men with these expectancies may feel more comfortable forcing sex when they are drinking, because they can later justify to themselves that the alcohol made them act accordingly (Kanin 1984).[1]

 

At minimum alcohol is three times more associated with rape than drugs, and probably closer to four times, but little, if any, work has addressed this correlation. , and that the presence of alcohol increased the levels of recorded injuries (51%, n=450). In addition, analysis of statements and data from service users suggest there is a group of predatory men who target women when they are drunk, so drunk in a number of cases that their capacity to consent had to be impaired. There were indications of a range of potential targeting strategies involved, which deserve further study. For example, two of the interviewees were women in their fifties, returning home from a night out with friends. In both instances a man presented himself as trustworthy, and in one case he offered to ensure she got home safely. She was subsequently raped in her own home. Lawyer and author Andrew Vasschs terms this pattern ‘targeted predation’, and comments:

Rapists see two different forms of weakness: (1) she’s drunk and (2) she’s drunk. Meaning, she’s physically impaired because of the alcohol, but also no one is going to believe her because they disapprove of her drinking.[2]

[1] Abbey, Antonia, Tina Zawacki, Philip O. Buck, A. Monique Clinton, and Pam McAuslan. “Alcohol and Sexual Assault.” Alcohol Research and Health 25, no. 1 (2001): 43–51.

[2] Kelly, Liz., Jo. Lovett, Linda. Regan, Great Britain., Home Office., and Development and Statistics Directorate. Research. A Gap or a Chasm?: Attrition in Reported Rape Cases. London: Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate, 2005.

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