Study Shows Alcohol Facilitates Sexual Violence Against Female Students
Sexual violence is one of the growing concerns in Nigeria and internationally.
Young girls are more often victims of this act, with the guys luring them into the trap.
In Nigerian institutions, some girls experience sexual violence but they often keep it to themselves because the guys have found a way to lure them into having sex with them against their wish (acquaintance rape), most times induced by alcohol, as a research has shown.
The research by an expert in Sociology of Addiction, Dr. Emeka Dumbili and a renowned professor of medical sociology, Clare Williams, both of the Department of Social Sciences, Media and Communications, College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences, Brunel University London, says Nigerian socio-cultural constructions of alcohol consumption facilitate sexual violence against women. The paper was published recently in SAGE’s Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Sometimes, this sexual violence is perpetrated within the four walls of tertiary institutions in Nigeria, with young girls as prey.
The research explored how gendering of alcoholic beverages facilitates men’s perpetration of sexual violence against women in a Nigerian university.
The report made available to Bounce News and also published on the SAGE Journals said in-depth interviews were conducted with 31 male and female undergraduate students (aged 19-23 years) in a university in eastern Nigeria.
The report also showed that men were found to exclude women from consuming beer, which they described as “inappropriate” feminine behaviour, confining them to drinking sweetened/flavoured alcoholic beverages such as Smirnoff Ice, REDD’s, wines among others.
To date, at least 70% of persons in a bar in Nigeria’s most civilised cities are usually men and the look some guys give to a lady that come alone to a bar sends diverse messages, but most times that of disapproval.
Women, however, in a bid to maintain a notion of “respectable” femininity, consume sweetened alcoholic drinks, but this created gender-specific risks, which were highlighted in the research report.
But one ladies should keep at the back of their mind is that sweetened alcoholic beverages have higher alcohol content, which most men are aware of.
Some of the men interviewed admitted buying such drinks for women, pressuring them to drink above their limits and raping them when they were inebriated.
Although Dr. Dumbili and Professor Williams highlighted that opinions of the participants may not represent those of students in other regions, some shared stories of how alcohol had been engaged in luring ladies to their beds.
“Most guys do it, and I have friends that do it . . . Most of the time they do it to a girl they’ve actually wanted to have sex with and the girl probably has been refusing them sex . . . Probably the girl is a friend . . . , but she is not willing to give in to sex.
“They’ll decide to just take her out [on a date] under the pretext of taking her out. Meanwhile, they are trying to get her drunk because they know that when you get drunk, you become less able to suppress your urges.
“So, when the girls get intoxicated, you find out that they are less able to resist the guys. So as guys we know about these things, so we just use them to try and get the girls, and it works,” one of the participants simply identified as Chike said.
Edulim, another participant said: “I have a friend . . . she told me that two boys raped her on her matric day [Fresher’s Day] . . . She said she met these guys at [name of site], and they were like, “you are new” . . . She said “ah yeah… ” They actually hung out, and she took Smirnoff [Ice]. She took the first bottle, second, third, and the girl was no longer herself.
“The guys were like forcing her to take [more], and she took the fourth bottle, the next thing was that she found herself on the bed of these guys, so the two boys made love to her”.
Acquaintance rape leaves girls with torture that are at times of a lifetime and the researchers stressed that widespread ignorance of the potency of sweetened alcoholic beverages among women should be redressed through the formulation of effective alcohol policies that specify standard drinks.
They want public health interventions to primarily focus on boys and men to discourage sexual violence.
Dr. Dumbili and Professor Williams, among other suggestions, emphasised that Nigerian women could also adopt individualised and group strategies such as refusing free alcohol from men or being in the company of friends that are used by women who drink in public spaces in Western societies to protect themselves from being raped under the influence.