Drinking in a bar puts women at risk for male aggression

November 05, 2000

Fifty-seven percent of the women who participated in a recent study at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) reported experiencing at least one incident of verbal or physical aggression while drinking in a bar.

In order to be eligible for the study, the women reported drinking in bars one or more times per week during the preceding three months and were not abstaining from alcohol.

Most of the aggression the women experienced was verbal, according to Principal Investigator Kathleen A. Parks, Ph.D., but incidents of physical aggression included being threatened with an object, touched sexually, pushed, slapped or threatened with a weapon.

"As a preventive measure, women should be informed of the relationship between going to bars and the risk for aggression," according to Parks. "They also should be aware of their own risky behaviors that can attract or escalate aggression from others in a bar, such as greater alcohol consumption and intoxication, drug use, and increased or decreased reactivity when responding to others."

"When aggression occurred," Parks explained, "the women reported having consumed more alcohol in a shorter period of time and feeling more intoxicated. The women also reported that alcohol changed their own behaviors (such as becoming more aggressive, careless, or not in control) during half of the incidents."

Their aggressors were described as men who persisted in buying them drinks, talking to them and asking them to engage in sexual relations with little or no encouragement.

"Consistent with findings from previous studies," Parks said, "alcohol consumption appears to increase the likelihood of sexual assault by enhancing a man's misperception of a woman's friendly behavior as sexual intent, reinforcing stereotypes of the drinking woman as more sexually available, and decreasing a woman's ability to correct these misperceptions."

It appears that the bar environment, other patrons in the bar and the woman's behavior interact in a complex manner to determine whether aggression occurs on any given night.

Future studies at RIA will incorporate systematic assessments of bars in which aggression occurs, as well as interviews with bar staff to get a richer description of the environmental characteristics of the bar that influence aggression (such as criminal activities, drug use and drug sales, patron characteristics and frequency of aggression).

Funding for Parks' research came from the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation ($85,300) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism ($504,540).
-end-


University at Buffalo

Related Alcohol Articles from Brightsurf:

Alcohol use changed right after COVID-19 lockdown
One in four adults reported a change in alcohol use almost immediately after stay-at-home orders were issued: 14% reported drinking more alcohol and reported higher levels of stress and anxiety than those who did not drink and those whose use stayed the same.

Changes in hospitalizations for alcohol use disorder in US
Changes over nearly two decades in the rate of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths from alcohol use disorder in the US were examined in this study.

Associations of alcohol consumption, alcohol-induced passing out with risk of dementia
The risk of future dementia associated with overall alcohol consumption and alcohol-induced loss of consciousness in a population of current drinkers was examined in this observational study with more than 131,000 adults.

New alcohol genes uncovered
Do you have what is known as problematic alcohol use?

Does estrogen influence alcohol use disorder?
A new study from researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that high estrogen levels may make alcohol more rewarding to female mice.

Sobering new data on drinking and driving: 15% of US alcohol-related motor vehicle fatalities involve alcohol under the legal limit
A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, found that motor vehicle crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) below the legal limit of 0.08 percent accounted for 15% of alcohol-involved crash deaths in the United States.

Alcohol-induced deaths in US
National vital statistics data from 2000 to 2016 were used to examine how rates of alcohol-induced deaths (defined as those deaths due to alcohol consumption that could be avoided if alcohol weren't involved) have changed in the US and to compare the results by demographic groups including sex, race/ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status and geographic location.

Cuts in alcohol duty linked to 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England
Government cuts to alcohol taxes have had dramatic consequences for public health, including nearly 2000 more alcohol-related deaths in England since 2012, according to new research from the University of Sheffield's School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR).

Integrated stepped alcohol treatment for people in HIV care improves both HIV & alcohol outcomes
Increasing the intensity of treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) over time improves alcohol-related outcomes among people with HIV, according to new clinical research supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet:Targets to reduce harmful alcohol use are likely to be missed as global alcohol intake increases
Increasing rates of alcohol use suggest that the world is not on track to achieve targets against harmful alcohol use, according to a study of 189 countries' alcohol intake between 1990-2017 and estimated intake up to 2030, published in The Lancet.

Read More: Alcohol News and Alcohol Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.