Cognition & Reality

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Department of Duh!: Alcohol Leading Date Rape Drug

Filed under: Psychomyths,Urban Myths — drtone @ 6:27 am

An episode of the TV show “Lie To Me” referred to girls being “roofied” at a rock concert. As indicated in this well-referenced Wikipedia entry. it has been known for years that “roofies,” Rohypnol, and another drug, GHB, pose a tiny risk as “date rape drugs,” compared with alcohol. Nevertheless, the belief persists that girls are frequently forced into sex with drugs that are far less available than alcohol, and probably less effective for the purpose. For a number of reasons I find this “date rape drug” myth annoying, the chief one of which is that it does not take a piece of formal research to tell me or anyone that when a drug plays a part in non-consensual sex, it is almost always alcohol.

The comment that accompanies this article debunking the idea that men intent on “date rape” often spike a woman’s drink with drugs demonstrates how difficult it is to dispel a spurious claim, scientific or otherwise. Once uttered in the public sphere, a false proposition acquires momentum that can carry it forward for years. I suggest that it is, however, far more understandable for a member of the public to maintain an erroneous idea than it is for the writers of a supposedly science-based television show.

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1 Comment »

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more on this issue. To add to it, I would say that drugs that are far more benign than alcohol with therapeutic value have been overlooked or discarded because of the stigma given to them with the title “date rape”. Some of these substances have benefits that people who would benefit from them will never know of or experience which would have a positive effect on them instead of a negative one that only adds to the difficulty. I have never liked the idea of any drug being a solution a mental problem, but I have to concede that sometimes a little help is a good thing when used judiciously.

    As far as advertising the misconceptions about these so called “date rape drugs” in the context of t.v. programs, I think that this is only adding to the deliberate withholding of substances with great benefit to those who could really use them for selfish and greedy motives, motives that benefit drug companies which have no humanitarian interests whatsoever.

    Comment by annie wallack — Sunday, 1 August 2010 @ 5:45 pm | Reply


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