In a study recently epublished in the Journal of Sex Research, the authors examined the relationship between sexual assault histories and how much people drank that evening.
In examining research it is important to understand how the study was conducted and understand how much we can generalize the findings in order to integrate the understanding of the research into prevention practice.
For this study the data was collected at the San Diego, California border with Tijuana, Mexico. Sexual Assault histories were determined by asking four questions derived from Koss and Oros’ Sexual Experiences Survey:

  1. Have you ever been in a situation where you became so sexually aroused that you could not stop yourself even though the person didn’t want to have sex?
  2. Have you ever persuaded someone to have sexual intercourse with you by giving her drugs or alcohol?
  3. Have you ever persuaded someone to have sexual intercourse with you when she did not really want to by pressuring her with continual arguments?
  4. Have you ever been in a situation where you used some degree of physical force (twisting an arm, holding down, etc.) to try to make a person engage in kissing or petting when they did not want to?

The study found that individuals who having sexually assaulted someone in the past drank more during their evening in Tijuana.  However, the study did not demonstrate a link between drinking that evening and committing acts of sexual assault.
Here is the full citation and abstract:
Sexual Assault Histories and Evening Drinking Among Young American Men in a High-Risk Drinking Environment.
Mumford EA, Kelley-Baker T, Romano E. Journal of Sex Research 2009; ePublished December 29, 2009
Click here for a link to the abstract on the journal’s web site.
(Copyright © 2009, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality)
This study surveyed young American men traveling to Tijuana, Mexico from San Diego, California for a weekend night out, collecting responses both southbound at the outset of the evening and northbound upon return at the end of the evening. Among 650 males, we examined the relationship between sexual histories and attitudes and alcohol use, both historically and on their night in Tijuana. Respondents with a history of coercing sex drank more in Tijuana and were more likely to binge drink. Although estimating sexual assaults committed by these males on the evening in question was not possible, this research establishes the link between a history of sexual assault and the blood alcohol concentration of young men resulting from an evening in a timeout environment.