Crime in a pill only a myth, say researchers

December 11, 2000

In a study of two Ontario university campuses, researchers found there have been no rape charges involving drinks laced with "club drugs". The University of Toronto researchers are questioning why universities continue to make these drugs a major focus of their student safety programs.

"There is so much focus on date rape drugs because the media and the Internet are constantly looking for new risks that are newsworthy," says criminology professor Mariana Valverde of her research, published in the November issue of the journal Economy and Society. "This detracts attention from the real problems that can lead to date rape such as sexual assaults involving alcohol." She believes that education practitioners are being influenced by the media's emphasis on "club drugs" and are using this information to educate students on its dangers without doing any fact checking.

Valverde and PhD student Dawn Moore spoke with university health and safety officers and gathered information from Canadian university Web sites and online newspapers about the perceived risks associated with date rape drugs and how they inform students of these risks. They found that almost all of the information warned students of the perceived dangers -- yet according to sexual assault police squads in Toronto and university campus police, there has not been one conviction of date rape resulting from "club drugs" such as Ecstasy and Rohypnol.

Paying more attention to the actual crime being committed rather than waging a war on drugs is essential says Valverde. "If a man wants to rape a woman, he will use any means that are available," she says. Valverde argues that more resources should be spent examining actual experiences of women and using this information to develop more effective safety programs.
-end-
CONTACT: Professor Marianna Valverde, Centre of Criminology, 978-6438 x 229, m.valverde@utoronto.ca or Sue Toye, U of T Public Affairs, 978-0260, sue.toye@utoronto.ca.

University of Toronto

Related Drugs Articles from Brightsurf:

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients
Strong sleeping pills known as 'Z-drugs' are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia, according to new research.

Wallflowers could lead to new drugs
Plant-derived chemicals called cardenolides - like digitoxin - have long been used to treat heart disease, and have shown potential as cancer therapies.

Bristol pioneers use of VR for designing new drugs
Researchers at the University of Bristol are pioneering the use of virtual reality (VR) as a tool to design the next generation of drug treatments.

Towards better anti-cancer drugs
The Bayreuth biochemist Dr. Claus-D. Kuhn and his research team have deciphered how the important human oncogene CDK8 is activated in cells of healthy individuals.

Separating drugs with MagLev
The composition of suspicious powders that may contain illicit drugs can be analyzed using a quick and simple method called magneto-Archimedes levitation (MagLev), according to a new study published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

People are more likely to try drugs for the first time during the summer
American teenagers and adults are more likely to try illegal or recreational drugs for the first time in the summer, a new study shows.

Drugs used to enhance sexual experiences, especially in UK
Combining drugs with sex is common regardless of gender or sexual orientation, reveals new research by UCL and the Global Drug Survey into global trends of substance-linked sex.

Promising new drugs for old pathogen Mtb
UConn researchers are targeting a metabolic pathway, the dihydrofolate reductase pathway, crucial for amino acid synthesis to treat TB infections.

Can psychedelic drugs heal?
Many people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

New uses for existing antiviral drugs
Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs work against a range of viral diseases, but developing them can be costly and time consuming.

Read More: Drugs News and Drugs Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.