One in ten British women is sexually assaulted or harassed while on holiday in southern Europe, research has found.
A survey of more than 6,000 people in various airports in Mediterranean countries found that one in 15 men have also fallen victim to harassment and assaults while on holiday in southern European countries such as Cyprus, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Crete.
The research, carried out by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (Irefrea), surveyed 6,502 British and German holidaymakers aged 16-35 in summer 2009 as they returned home from tourist hotspots.
The aim of the research, led by Amador Calafat from Irefrea, was to discover levels of sexual harassment and "sex against one's will" suffered by tourists.
Of the total, 8.6% said they had been sexually harassed while on holiday while 1.5% reported being raped.
The research, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that women reported higher levels of sexual harassment, but gay and bisexual men were harassed just as much, and also reported the highest levels of sexual assault.
Harassment was higher in Mallorca or Crete, the survey found, and higher levels of harassment were associated with those who were young, British, gay or bisexual, frequent drinkers or attracted to bars where people get drunk, or those who used cocaine.
The researchers said that issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault on holidaymakers have not received enough attention.