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 by men.
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 their targets.
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 , 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.
The study was online Monday in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
The researchers also wanted to look into whether unwanted sexual advances were intentional or just a matter of misperception. This study points to the former, Graham says.
"If you walk through a bar and grab a woman’s breasts and then disappear into the crowd, that’s probably not a misunderstanding," she says. "You don’t actually think that she wants you to do that."
The fact that men were more likely to take advantage of intoxicated women shows that most of these incidents aren’t well-intentioned, Graham says.
This isn’t really something surprising, but it’s always good to have more back up about it. But yeah, men aren’t doing this by accident. The study said 66% of the sexual aggression was physical, so MOST of it has a physical component, which is pretty scary. And guys are told to do this too. “Pick up artist” sites and texts tell guys to touch women without our permission because it creates trust (what it really does, and I think they know, is make us uncomfortable and disturb us, which is the point because they don’t want to seduce us as much as find a way to push past our barriers), and to push us and try to get us drunk.
"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."
As summer-of-supervillainy said when she saw this, those are effectively the same thing the way these guys target women. They’re not trying to have us do something we want, they’re trying to make us do something we don’t want. Whether it’s by pushing us, coercing us, forcing us, getting us drunk, etc, it’s still about them knowing we don’t want this, and they’re trying to find a way to get us to do it anyway.
This is what I keep saying. To guys who do stuff like this (and there’s a lot of them), sexual assault is a legal technicality. Their only concern about assaulting women is that they don’t want to go to jail, not about US. If we get hurt but they don’t go to jail, they’ll do it. You can see this by how they go “what if she’s just a little drunk?” or “what if she didn’t say no?” or etc… it’s all about the TECHNICALITY. They KNOW the woman is putting up resistance and they don’t care.
I often ask guys I argue with about this who go “we know they want it”, why they don’t wait until she’s sober and ask her then? Since you know they want you, then you can ask when she’s sober and you avoid all the “grey area” you’re whining about in the first place. And their response is always trying to find excuses for why they can’t wait until she’s sober, or sometimes they outright just admit “because she’d say no.” SO YOU KNOW SHE DOESN’T WANT TO SLEEP WITH YOU. You know that you’re trying to take advantage of her in a weakened, vulnerable state. You just don’t really care about whether you hurt her, or scar her, or traumatize her. You just care about your OWN desires, and what YOU want. Rape is a technical legal thing to them. They don’t care if they cause the same trauma as legal rape as long as legally it’s not rape.