A proper regulation of membrane fluidity is critical for cellular activities such as communication between cells, mitosis, and endocytosis. Unsaturated lipids, a main component of biological membranes, are particularly susceptible to oxidative attack of reactive oxygen species. The oxidation of lipids can produce structural derangement of membranes and eventually alter the membrane fluidity. We have applied fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and Raman spectroscopy to investigate the fluidity and structure of model membranes subject to oxidative attack. Hydrogen peroxide has little effect on the lateral fluidity of membranes, whereas hydroxyl radical causes a significantly increased fluidity. The latter is rationalized with the cleavage of the acyl chains of lipids caused by hydroxyl radical; this interpretation is founded on the diminished intensities of lines in Raman spectra associated with -CH2 and C=C moieties in lipids and supported by mass-spectral measurements. The same approach provides a mechanistic account of the inhibitory capability of vitamins C and E against the increased membrane fluidity resulting from an oxidative attack. Membranes with much cholesterol exhibit a novel resistance against altered membrane fluidity induced with oxidative attack; this finding has biological implications. Our approach combining FCS and Raman measurements reveals the interplay between the structure and fluidity of membranes and provides insight into the pathophysiology of cellular oxidative injury.