I knew it!

Is The Alcohol Message All Wrong?

And if you want examples of bizarre beliefs and weird customs, you need look no further than our attitude to drinking and our drinking habits. Pick up any newspaper and you will read that we are a nation of loutish binge-drinkers – that we drink too much, too young, too fast – and that it makes us violent, promiscuous, anti-social and generally obnoxious.

Clearly, we Brits do have a bit of a problem with alcohol, but why?

The problem is that we Brits believe that alcohol has magical powers – that it causes us to shed our inhibitions and become aggressive, promiscuous, disorderly and even violent.

But we are wrong.

[snip]

In high doses, alcohol impairs our reaction times, muscle control, co-ordination, short-term memory, perceptual field, cognitive abilities and ability to speak clearly. But it does not cause us selectively to break specific social rules. It does not cause us to say, “Oi, what you lookin’ at?” and start punching each other. Nor does it cause us to say, “Hey babe, fancy a shag?” and start groping each other.

The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.

Read the whole thing…

h/t WatchSurvivingStraightInc

 

 

12 Responses to 'I knew it!'

  1. Sally says:

    “Our beliefs about the effects of alcohol act as self-fulfilling prophecies – if you firmly believe and expect that booze will make you aggressive, then it will do exactly that. In fact, you will be able to get roaring drunk on a non-alcoholic placebo.”

    Evidence of this can be found after a drunk is arrested and can be seen perfectly calm in the back of a squad car.

    Just minutes previously the drunk had been wailing, screaming insults and banging his head against a wall. After the cuffs go on he started thinking, “Oops, got my self in situation here. Better calm down.” He was always perfectly capable of acting appropriately, he just didn’t want to before.

  2. FKABB says:

    Link is broken.

  3. ilse says:

    It is working for me. Can I have a second opinion?

  4. Sally says:

    ilse,

    The first link, “Is The Alcohol Message All Wrong?” works for me.

    The second one, “Read the whole thing” does not.

  5. reader says:

    “In high doses, alcohol impairs our reaction times, muscle control, co-ordination, short-term memory, perceptual field, cognitive abilities and ability to speak clearly. But it does not cause us selectively to break specific social rules. It does not cause us to say, “Oi, what you lookin’ at?” and start punching each other. Nor does it cause us to say, “Hey babe, fancy a shag?” and start groping each other. The effects of alcohol on behaviour are determined by cultural rules and norms, not by the chemical actions of ethanol.”

    Just speaking from my own painful experience, I certainly behaved in very out of character ways when blackout drunk. I did things I would never have dreamed of when sober, certainly not very socially acceptable behavior, and had zero control or ability to act appropriately. Blackouts are the scariest experience imaginable and what made me seek help after a few of them. I certainly couldn’t “will” myself into not having one, or I would have. After years of drinking, they certainly came as a terrible shock; very far from a self- fulfilling prophecy in my case; I never imagined this would happen to me.

  6. WatchSurvivingStraightInc says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-15265317

    Over a thousand responses! I hope she writes more about this.

  7. JR Harris says:

    I do like the comments on the article stating:

    “This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules.”

    It is kind of fun to read between the lines and figure out what was removed.

  8. Sally says:

    “House Rules” = Logical comments will be regarded as biased and subsequently removed.

  9. I do wish more people would write on this topic. What a comments section, sheesh, they rather proved her point, don’t you think? Jumping in with their causative arguments while damning the writer, which is exactly what she was trying to say. Naturally the most aggressive anti-alcohol idiot in the bunch was going by the handle, “DeepJedi”. What is their deal with that?

  10. humanspirit says:

    Andrew M Brown, a blogger and notorious stepper of the UK’s Daily Telegraph, talks about this article here:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewmcfbrown/100110340/why-alcohol-is-not-as-strong-as-we-imagine-or-is-it/

    At first he seems to be agreeing with it, but then says that Kate Fox’s article is “booze-friendly” and goes on to insinuate she is in the pay of the drinks industry which is why she comes to these conclusions.

    What a git,

  11. Tallmike says:

    Here is another good read, only this one is from Stanton Peele. It’s his most recent PT article. Either here, or as a comment regarding Melanie Griffith, I, myself, had commented about Antonio Banderas viewing alcohol consumption in a totally different light than his wife due to his being Spanish, a Mediterranean culture similar to Italians and Greeks. Alcohol consumption is a “matter of fact” daily activity.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addiction-in-society/201110/how-come-antonio-banderas-is-too-stupid-understand-his-wifes-alcoho

    I think that link will work. If not, just use the link under “Addiction Recovery Resources” for Stanton Peele at Psychology Today and you’ll see it.

  12. ez says:

    Prior to our move to London one of the books that was suggested to us was “Watching the English”. Without the benefit of a photograpgh I had somehow figured that the author was about 45 to 55, a bit plain with grey hair.

    Wrong! The author is the same as in this article, Kate Fox. Good book and this is a good pod cast.

Leave a Reply