Why do young women in Britain drink themselves to oblivion?

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by kira, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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  3. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    I have just come to this thread for the first time. The Daily Mail article paints a rather exaggerated picture – even for Cardiff, which is notorious in regard to bingeing and drunkenness. Most towns and cities do not have such a problem, but there is no doubt that a lot of young women DO drink irresponsibly . . . and behave irresponsibly. The new academic year is under way, and the new intake of (circa) eighteen-year-old girls is seen as a great opportunity. In more than one of our universities, the year begins with "fuck a fresher week". In another, it's "shag a sherrin week" (sherrin = fresh herring).

    Regarding the Kate Fox piece posted by Kira ... I have come across Kate. Kate and I both worked in London in the connected academic disciplines of anthropology and psychology. I even have one of her books on my shelves. She has had a very successful career – in part due to good family connections, and in part due to having been exceptionally good looking in her younger years and not being shy of putting into practice some of the things she learned from her academic study of flirting. Her piece is highly contentious and misleading, although there has been some interesting research done on achieving behavioural changes through merely leading experimental subjects to believe they were being given alcoholic drinks. Her organisation receives funding from the drinks industry.

    The reward that the girls get from their nights out is very simple. They go out regularly in the same threes and fours. Their reward is their togetherness. But more than being together is necessary for the psychological reward of truly binding camaraderie. There is a need for shared history. History means things need to happen, especially things involving an element of risk or danger with the excitement that that brings. Being slightly, or more than slighty, out of control helps things to happen (e.g. "Hannah has had sex behind a chicken coup.") The subject of conversation will be such shared reminiscences.

    What is needed is a few sober public-spirited citizens to keep an eye on things around central Cardiff on a Saturday night. Citizens looking for the opportunity to stop a girl from doing herself real harm, or helping her when she is on the borderline of oblivion. Citizens going out of their way to do good – and perhaps being rewarded by the occasional good shag in return.
     
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    We appointed a few "soberites" at our parties at college for just that purpose - to have someone responsible available if anyone got hurt, or the cops were called, or things got out of hand. Worked out pretty well.
     
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  7. Gustav Banned Banned

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    ja, kate is quite the shill
    Over the past few decades the government, the drinks industry and schools have done exactly the opposite of what they should do to tackle our dysfunctional drinking. I remain perhaps stupidly optimistic that eventually they will find the courage to turn things around and start heading in the right direction

    ----------------------------

    Kate Fox - Passport to the Pub
    Kate Fox - Watching the English

    fun stuff
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  8. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

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  9. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    As an academic, you should be aware of the requirement to substantiate claims. So please, indulge us with the details.
     
  10. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    This is what the PowerBase (Google it) organisation has to say about SIRC:
    " . . . calls itself an independent, non-profit organisation founded to conduct research on social and lifestyle issues, monitor and assess global sociocultural trends and provide new insights on human behaviour and social relations.
    It says it aims to provide a balanced, calm and thoughtful perspective on social issues, promoting open and rational debates based on evidence rather than ideology... SIRC operates a permanent ‘social intelligence’ unit, engaged in continuous monitoring and assessment of significant social, cultural and ideological trends.
    However, it may be perceived that the company acts more like a public relations agency for the corporations that fund its activities. These include Diageo, Flora, Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, and Roche, among others. Although SIRC does publish this partial list of funders, it is not immediately apparent which company has sponsored which study. And in some instances this information is not included in media reports."

    You can also try Googling "Kate Fox" "Portman Group" for some interesting results.
    And, in particular, don't miss http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/a...ohol-is-not-as-strong-as-we-imagine-or-is-it/
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  11. phlogistician Banned Banned

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    Now all you have to do is prove this association biased the results of her experiments, or that she misrepresented the results, or just plain lied.

    Back over to you.
     
  12. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    The idea that the government poisoned bootleg whiskey and that the government did so to kill people who drank illegally is misleading and inflammatory, but I do admit that what the government actually did was dangerous, deadly and wrong and definitely not the best solution (no pun intended) for enforcing Prohibition. Let's not, for example, make it sound like the government skulked around secretly poisoning moonshiners' stills (or legitimate alcohol-producers, or leftover bottles in people's liquor cabinets), and then running back to their offices and slavering over reports of drinkers dropping dead or going blind or crazy.

    In actuality, the government required the manufacturers of industrial alcohol (which was already unfit for human consumption) to "denature" it — that is, make it poisonous, and thus, wholly unfit for human consumption. Criminal masterminds then stole the alcohol, hired chemists to try to "renature", sold it to purchasers (eg, owners of speakeasys), who sold it to customers, who then drank it.

    In addition to stating that #1) what the government did was dangerous, deadly and wrong, let's also admit that this is also true for #2) the makers of the denatured industrial alcohol, #3) the mastermind criminals, #4) the "renaturing" chemists, #5) the purchasers, and #6) the drinkers.

    Otherwise, we might as well say that, today, in this day and age, Sterno and other makers of chafing dish fuels "denature" their product to purposely murder/blind/dement sterno drinkers. Or that pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough makes Coricidin with dextromethorphan *and* chlorpheniramine maleate, to purposely make it the preferred DXM product for some young people because the CPM interferes with the metabolism of the DXM, which might give them a higher high but can also cause serious bodily damage and death.
     
  13. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    If you mean scientific proof, I have none. This is a matter of judgement. If you begin to look at the 1000+ comments posted in response to Kate's BBC piece, you will see where the preponderance of judgement lies.

    I understand that the experiments she refers to did not involve large amounts of alcohol or placebo, but I have not seen the research results. I do not find it amazing that those who have merely been led to believe that they have had a drink can become mildly euphoric, especially when they are in the infectious company of those who have. If anyone informs me that the placebo effects were extraordinarily strong, I shall reply: yep! that's just the way of placebo effects over and over! However, as far as I know, no one has ever passed out in a gutter through drinking too much placebo -- and it is the binge drinking of large amounts that is the cause of concern.

    I don't blame Kate for trying to spin things in favour of her paymasters. I admire her talent as an observer and writer. (I agree with Gustav's "fun stuff" comment.) Merely, people should beware of her! BTW, the last time I heard her speak she had lowered her voice by an octave to sound more authoritative. She doesn't miss a trick!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed. The equivalent today would be to put strychnine or some other poison in an irrigation water supply that the police know will be used to water marijuana crops. The people who are killed by the poison are doing something illegal - but the government is indeed taking actions that could reasonably be expected to kill people.
     
  15. Ellie Banned Banned

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    Wood alcohol.

    http://blogs.plos.org/speakeasyscience/2010/12/31/at-the-prohibition-bar/

    You should know what you are doing to make booze.
     
  16. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    These days there are people who may well take such a dim view of these immoral and unethical practices as to take action in kind against those who would perpetuate such crimes against others with malice aforethought.

    "Do unto other as they would do unto you." How much disrespect does the government think it can tolerate before it becomes the "former" government?

    Something to think about.

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  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    as I sit here drinking, I wonder, so what. What's wrong with drinking to oblivion and having lots of sex? Sex is fun. You get pregnant. so what. The UK pays for those kids, no matter who the dad is. You get an STD. so what. You take meds for it.

    Is it immoral for women to get drunk and have numerous sex partners. I don't think so.
     
  18. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Consider the change of context made simply by the insertion of the words in bold, 'a girl'.

    Maybe that's what the men are thinking.

    Maybe that's why the girls drink, if that's what their mate selections may consist of.

    Now don't anybody go off half-cocked.

    It's the old double standard as ever.

    Would anyone have written the story if it was blokes getting hammered and sleeping in the streets?

    Highly unlikely, unless the journalist was a sympathetic female.

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  19. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    I agree. I wonder what visceral instinct would have to say about it.
     
  20. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

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    My guess would be something along the lines of

     
  21. River Ape Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, but I am not quite sure that is quite the way of things. As the article stated, a lot of young women who hold decent jobs, and have good money to spend, engage in binge drinking. If they get pregnant, they are likely to get an abortion, but a majority do not actually engage in sexual activity, and plenty of those who are open to sexual engagement are on "the pill" or carry condoms. Some are drinking to a level that endangers their health -- either in the short term or in the long term. That is where the real harm lies. (I have known someone, though this was actually a guy, in the armed forces, who just drank too much with his mates one night. Result: death.)

    The girls who most typically get pregnant are a different group. I have heard those who deal with the problems of unmarried mothers insist that many get pregnant by choice rather than by accident -- and I have found their arguments rather convincing. Unemployment among the young is 25% in the UK and this can rise to 50% in some poorer areas. Getting pregnant is a lifestyle choice for girls who cannot get a job, whose lives are going nowhere, and who see no other future. As you rightly state, the UK government pays to the kids. It's a life; it's better than nothing.

    (Of course, it's nothing like as simply as the above.)
     
  22. Anti-Flag Pun intended Registered Senior Member

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    And clearly drinking has impaired your viewpoint. Not all STDs are curable, and last time I checked some were fatal. Drinking causes complications.
    As for having more unwanted children, what a great idea, like we don't have enough single parents who haven't finished their GCSEs.

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    Entirely a matter of opinion, but totally. But if nothing else, they shouldn't complain when they get stuck with guys who do the same, which oddly enough is all we ever hear about because they consider it immoral for guys to do that. :shrug:
     
  23. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

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    No, once again. The equivalent must include that the marijuana growers know the water is poisoned and is making their marijuana crops toxic to humans, but they go ahead and traffic the marijuana anyway. The government in this case is not solely responsible — nor is it mostly responsible.

    Most jurisdictions employ the concept of "proximate cause", which refers to the responsibility of a wrong being relative to the closeness to the commission of the actual wrong. For example, Albert and Charlie decide to rob a convenience store, so Charlie illegally buys a gun from Eddie that was manufactured by Glock GmbH. Charlie gives the gun to Albert, who then performs the robbery with Charlie as the getaway driver. Albert shoots the store clerk dead. In order of proximate cause, Albert is the most responsible for the death, followed by Charlie, then Eddie, and lest of all Glock (if at all).

    In the real-life case with Prohibition, The criminal masterminds are closer to the intentional deaths than are the alcohol manufacturers who poisoned the alcohol or the government that ordered them to do it. Perhaps the chemists illegally hired to "renature" the alcohol are the closest if they know that they have failed to "renature" the alcohol and then lied to their employer, or if they know their employer will go ahead anyway and sell the denatured alcohol as supposedly safe for human consumption. This is because the chemists would know with more of a certainty via their scientific tests/knowledge. The purchasers and/or the drinkers themselves could have the most responsibility if they received knowledge about the possible dangers of bootleg alcohol, and failed to exercise reasonable and prudent caution.

    As for the OP, the women getting plastered are the proximate cause for their own drunkenness.
     

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