Drankin’ n’ Fightin’

Put your beer down and step away from the lady at the bar. Drunk women are as likely to fight in pubs as men.

Binge drinking women are just as likely to be involved in fights in pubs as men, according to groundbreaking research into violence and alcohol.

Researchers involved in the study, the first of its kind in the UK, found that “relatively large” numbers of women of all ages were getting involved in scuffles in licensed premises. Two cases even involved drunken pregnant women at the centre of the aggression.

…Dr Alasdair Forsyth, of Glasgow Caledonian University, who led the study, said the research showed that any assumption that violence was restricted to drunk men was wrong. He said: “Women were as involved in as much trouble as men and seemed to be getting as drunk as men.”

I don’t know whether this is amusing or troublesome. This morning, I’m leaning toward amusing.


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13 comments for “Drankin’ n’ Fightin’

  1. May 15, 2005 at 2:40 pm

    When I was a bouncer fights involving women were not unusual. They were also a lot harder for me to quell. When I was explaining the down side of bellicose behavior to a man it was expected he would have some bruises to prove he had a really good time. When it was a woman involved I had to be a lot more circumspect to avoid stimulating the protection gene in the men.

  2. May 15, 2005 at 3:45 pm

    I bounced last night at the ‘Avant Gard’ in Chicago. It’s a Bulgarian club.
    Tally: 3 fights between women on the dance floor.

    In theory it always seems amusing. In practice it’s more dangerous than men brawling because you have to tone yourself down because they’re women. Then you get blindsided by their wannabe boyfriends and protecters.

    All 3 almost turned into full blown bar room brawls when the men rushed to get involved.
    What are you gonna do? I had to be as assertive with them as any man in a gang-banger club.

    I’m getting too old for this shit.

  3. May 15, 2005 at 4:08 pm

    A fight broke out in the bar I was in Friday. It started between two men but women jumped in. I think it’s ridiculous to think that women are less aggressive than men. The only reason that women act out less is that we are under more social control.

  4. michelle
    May 15, 2005 at 6:25 pm

    They needed a study to figure this out? Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Duh =) That’s a prime recipe for undirected female anger let loose. I know *I* always lose my “nice” facade when I drink – 2 or 3 Long Islands and I get into a very snarky mood, grouchy and irritated by everything and everyone (“morose” is how my boyfriend describes it). Start saying the things I’m actually thinking…Yeah, there’s some big ol’ repression going on there.

  5. May 15, 2005 at 9:48 pm

    Violence is always troublesome, Lauren. I found being abused by my mother every bit as terrorizing as being abused by my father or my brother.

    What women (and men) can do is make it clear that physical acts of rage are inappropriate and dangerous. When you see someone in a comments thread making such threats, you should make it clear that even symbolic expressions of violence are inappropriate. They have been shown to be the ramping up to more substantial violence, particularly if the one who utters them is a user.

  6. May 16, 2005 at 7:29 am

    I almost got in a fight in a pub. After waiting an hour for food and then being ignored by the server, I was ready to take someone’s head off.

    Fortunately, my standards for service have lowered until now I’m almost pathetically grateful for any morsel of attention from a server.

  7. May 16, 2005 at 7:45 am

    I think it’s ridiculous to think that women are less aggressive than men.

    Good. Now repeat after me that domestic violence is equally women hitting their husbands as vice versa.
    Or wait, didnt you and a dozen others suggest otherwise before?

  8. May 16, 2005 at 9:10 am

    Monjo: I think what may be true is that when alcohol or drug use is not involved, men are more violent than women. When inebriants enter the equation, the incidence starts to balance out. (Lucky us….)

    Most domestic violence programs now grant that men can be as much the victims of violence by their spouses as women. A few shelters now take in men who have been assaulted by their spouses.

    Don’t let a few, mostly young commentators upset you. Professional psychologists and medical professionals know about the problem and treat all victims of domestic violence sympathetically.

    (I have now in my hand a card from a violence prevention program listing symptoms of domestic violence. Reviewing it I note that there is no suggestion that only women are attacked.)

  9. May 16, 2005 at 9:29 am

    Monjo, please advise that I immediately said that women act out less because we are under more social control. MORE SOCIAL CONTROL means less domestic violence from women, a proven fact if you even dare look at emergency room numbers. Male dominance is not as big a factor in barroom brawling, especially between women. But male dominance is the cause of the vast majority of domestic violence situations because male on female violence is still accepted as a way for men to assert their proper place as head of the household.

  10. May 16, 2005 at 9:40 am

    I’ll vote for troublesome.

    I recall that there’s a section in Carol Tavris’ book on anger where she reviews studies to see how men and women stack up on aggression, and finds that men are more aggressive in certain situations, but in others the sexes are pretty equal. I’ll have to see if I can find the book.

  11. May 16, 2005 at 5:32 pm

    Amanda: Men face a different kind of social control. If they reveal that the bruise or the cut or the broken bone was caused by a woman, they fear law enforcement and the medical team laughing at them. “What’s the matter, Pal? Can’t handle a little woman?”

    Which can skew the ER numbers. How much? It’s hard to say.

    Which is tragic because the pressure then turns on them to counter-abuse or redirect their frustration outside of the family. Which might account for the greater male violence rates.

  12. May 17, 2005 at 4:34 am

    I read somewhere one that for 30 yr-old men and women, men are about 30 times (?) more likely to go to A&E for an injury. Some paper interpreted this as meaning men at aged 30 are 30-times more accident prone than women. But it doesn’t measure incidences of accidents, only OUTCOME. It means men are 30-times more likely to have an accident that means going to A&E (US: ER) – I blame DIY programmes!
    It is the same as 95% of ER Domestic violence cases being women – it is a measure of outcome not incidence.

    I have found some excellent domestic violence stats which actually show women are more likely to be violent toward their partner than men. One form of social conditioning men and women have is as children, boys are told to never hit a girl. Girls are told quite matter-of-factly that it is fine to slap a guy.

    Lynn/Joel: I don’t doubt men are more aggressive than women. But aggression != violence. Also, men may often fight other men but doesn’t mean we are more likely to hit women.

    [BTW Keep reading down the link I gave as there’s many other excellent nuggets]

    31% of men and 44% of women in a study reported that they aggressed against their partner in the year before marriage. Eighteen months after marriage, 27% of the men and 36% of the women reported being violent towards their partner

    Another common myth about domestic violence is that 95% of the time, women are the victims and men the perpetrators. Straus ad Gelles found that among couples reporting violence, the man struck the first blow in 27% of cases; the women in 24%. The rest of the time, the violence was mutual, with both partners brawling.

    84% of American families are not violent. In 16% of families that do experience violence, the vast majority takes the form of slapping, shoving, and grabbing. Only 3-4% of all families (a total of about 1.8 million) engage in severe violence: kicking, punching, or using a weapon.

    The problem, as ever, is media perception and political correctness.

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