Young women are often the targets of aggression when they're out in bars, but the problem isn't that guys are too drunk to know better.
Instead, men are preying on women who have had too much to drink.
When researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Washington observed young people's behavior in bars, they found that the man's aggressiveness didn't match his level of intoxication. There was no relationship.
Instead, men targeted women who were intoxicated.
The researchers hired and trained 140 young adults to go into bars in
the Toronto area and note every incident of aggression they saw. They
found that 25 percent of all incidents involved sexual aggression. And
90 percent of the victims of sexual aggression were women being harassed
Almost all of the aggression was physical, with about
two-thirds of the aggressors physically touching women without consent.
About 17 percent threatened contact. And 9 percent verbally harassed
Men may perceive intoxicated women either as more amenable to
advances or as easier targets who are less able to rebuff them because
they don't have their wits about them, the researchers say.
"There's no reason that women should be touched against their will," says Dr. Kathryn Graham,
the study's lead researcher and a senior scientist at the Centre for
Addiction and Mental Health at the University of Toronto. Women wouldn't
accept that kind of behavior at school or on the street, she notes, but
it seems to get a pass in bars, she tells Shots.