Date Rape Drugs and Rape Prevention: (Still) Holding Women Responsible for Preventing Victimization

Dana A. Hysock, University of Delaware

Current constructionist perspectives suggest that rape is not an objective property of human behavior, but rather is defined and constructed through social interactions. For this presentation, a content analysis was conducted on the available publicly disseminated literature regarding rape - particularly date rape drug information. Messages such as "Women should not leave their drinks unattended," "Women should not drink from an unsupervised punch bowl," and "Women should go to parties in groups, and watch out for one another" inundate the prevention information, implying that women are responsible for preventing their possible victimization. However, men and the ways in which masculinity is constructed remain invisible within these prevention efforts. Examining the definitions and social constructions of rape allows researchers to learn how society perceives women, men, and the proper/improper behavior of each.

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Updated 05/20/2006