Having your drink spiked at a college party is a very real—and very terrifying—possibility. Apparently, more guys than girls are saying that using drugs in drinks is nothing more than a way to have more fun and spice things up at parties. Sounds legit?
Despite the idea that roofies are just some myth or rare occurrence, a new study published in the journal Psychology of Violence found that people drug drinks more often than you’d think. Researchers sent a drink-spiking survey to over 6,000 students at the University of South Carolina, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Kentucky.
462—or around eight percent—of the students reported more than 500 incidents where they claimed to have been drugged. Meanwhile, 83 students reported 172 incidents where they drugged someone else or knew someone who did.
Even more disgusting than this number are the reasons that some of the students cited for slipping drugs into someone else’s drink. Men were apparently more likely to say they drugged someone “to have fun,” rather than for sex or sexual assault. New York Magazine reported one male student responding, “I put happiness in their drinks.”
Similarly, men who had been drugged themselves thought that people drugged them just for fun. You know, because roofies are just a “fun” drug (someone please pick up on the sarcasm here). Meanwhile, a female student answered the study in a grimmer way, saying women are drugged “to rape us.”
Another woman said, “Guys do it when a girl tells them she won’t hook up with them.”
The gender divide didn’t stop there. Women were more likely to be victims of drink spiking than men, coming in at 79 percent versus 21 percent. Under the influence of these drugs, nearly 17 percent of women had “unwanted sex”—whereas only about 6 percent of male victims experienced forced sex.
The author of the study, Suzanna Swan, told Broadly that she came up with the idea after asking students if they had ever been drugged at a party. Nearly one-third of her class raised their hands. “I had no idea that [drink spiking] was happening until students started bringing it up from time to time,” said Swan, a psychology and women’s studies professor at the University of South Carolina.
According to Broadly, Swan concluded that male students tend to brush off drugging others. “It did seem like, for some men, they did not see spiking someone’s drink as a big deal. For most of the women, it was pretty serious. They did not think that drugging someone was amusing or trivial at all.”
Although this study only encompassed three campuses, the message is pretty clear. Drink spiking is more common than many people think—especially among women. And that’s pretty scary. What’s even scarier is that there are people out there who think it’s “fun” or “funny” to drug someone else.