Posts filed under ‘Alcohol’

Drinking patterns, social interaction, and barroom behavior

Two social scientists walk into a bar…

Typically, we read research papers for their educational value. However, I found this one to be more entertaining than educational.

Observations are done in two bars to explore victimization and guardian influence in bars. The two bars are referred to as “North Bar” and “South Bar”.

One bar which we have given the name, North Bar, attracted a more funky, laid-back weekend crowd that typically dressed in blue jeans, flannel shirts, sweatshirts, and sneakers.

The other bar which we have named, South Bar, attracted a larger and more diverse crowd reflecting a mixture of urban lifestyles, young professionals, college students, and more racial and ethnic minorities.

Here are some interesting excerpts from the paper:

Our observations of the interactions between female patrons and the bouncers revealed that the more flirtatious a female patron would be with the bouncers, the more likely she would be allowed entry into South Bar.

Bar patrons began streaming into the bars at approximately 10:00 p.m. On Tuesday nights the barroom capacity for South Bar was typically reached or exceeded by midnight, slowly continued to increase until approximately 1:30 a.m., and then gradually declined until approximately 2:30 a.m. After 3:00 a.m. only a small number of patrons, typically male heavy drinkers, remained in the bar.

Our observers overheard one exchange, short and to the point, “do you want some of this meat?” which was made while one of the men was rubbing his penis. In one instance a female patron left immediately with these men.

Two young men had begun the event during the late afternoon, were still drinking and were quite intoxicated when we arrived at 10:00 p.m. to begin our observations. They abandoned their efforts around midnight after consuming only about 30 of the required 40 glasses of beer.

Once a small group of males had initiated the formation of a gauntlet, others would join in until up to 20 to 30 men were in control of each side of the pathway for a considerable distance. When young women, typically those who were exceptionally attractive, would attempt to pass through this pathway, the males would first initiate a restriction of the pathway then freely grope, grab, or fondle selected females—typically on the buttocks or breasts.

Males seeking an “easy lay” frequently approached female patrons. On several occasions we observed female targets being quickly drawn into a conversation by a male patron, maneuvered into a seat at the bar, and presented with drinks. Within a short period of time the male would then begin moving his hand up the skirt of the target to her crotch area.

We observed that a higher percentage of female patrons during ladies’ night at South Bar were under the age of 21 years than those at North Bar. One of the South Bar observers was a police officer with substantial experience in estimating age. He agreed with the estimates provided by other observers that approximately 25–30 percent of all women in South Bar at peak drinking hours were under 21 years of age.

Small groups of male patrons would frequently attempt to attract the attention of females outside the bars by shouting across the street, and occasionally entering the street in traffic to get closer to those from whom they sought greater attention.

Males typically outnumbered females on Tuesday nights at North Bar by approximately 4 to 1, and approximately 3 to 1 at South Bar.

Fox, J. G. & Sobol, J. J. (2000). Drinking patterns, social interaction, and barroom behavior: a routine activities approach. Deviant Behavior, 21(5), 429-450.

October 1, 2006 at 1:13 am 4 comments

Which type of drinker are you?

Empirical research from the past 15 years have distinguished four different motives for drinking among youths. Personality is the main influence for a person’s motive for drinking.

Enhancement motives: You drink to feel good, to get drunk, or just for its own sake. You desire intense and novel experiences, and others might say that you’re impulsive, extraverted, or aggressive. You drink with same-sex friends, at friends’ homes, and in bars.

Coping motives: You drink to cope with bad feelings, to relieve stress, or to avoid social rejection. You may be neurotic, disagreeable, or have negative views of yourself. You generally drink at home, but not at parties or with your family.

Social motives: You drink to be more sociable, or to help you enjoy a party. You’re a moderate drinker, and generally only drink in social contexts. You drink more frequently at mixed-sex parties, but not at home, in bars, or together with family members.

The “but not at home, in bars” part is a bit strange. One would think that social drinkers would be okay with drinking at bars.

Conformity motives: You drink because of pressure from peers, or to be liked. Specific personality or contextual traits were not found.

There are also differences in motives between genders as well as changes as a person ages.

…enhancement and coping motives, increase generally with age but are steeper among males than among females.

In adolescence and the college freshman years, indicating coping motives was found to be more strongly associated with excessive alcohol use among females than among males whereas after the freshman years and when entering the workplace in their mid-twenties men’s heavy drinking tallied more with coping motives than women’s heavy drinking.

The main targets for alcoholism prevention are people who drink for enhancement or coping motives because they often result in heavy drinking. Due to the changes in motives for age and gender, the authors recommend focusing on boys who drink for enhancement motives and girls who drink for coping motives.

Kuntsche, E., Knibbe, R., Gmel, G., & Engels, R. (2006). Who drinks and why? A review of socio-demographic, personality, and contextual issues behind the drinking motives in young people. Addictive Behaviors, 31(10), 1844-57.

September 8, 2006 at 1:31 am 13 comments


Read any good papers lately?

If you're interested in academic research, I'd love to have additional contributors. Shoot me an email.