Study Shows Male-Heavy Bar Crowds Lead to Drunkenness

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Looking for a low-key night out? According to new research, you should avoid bars with lots of men.

In a new study, Deakin University sent undercover researchers to observe patrons in bars, pubs and clubs all over Australia. Barhopping in the name of science? You better believe it. Looking for signs of intoxication, researchers recorded bargoers who exhibited symptoms such as slurred speech, loss of balance and behavior changes.

As a result of their fieldwork, researchers found that approximately half of bar patrons showed some signs of at least mild intoxication; more than half of those visibly tipsy patrons were under the age of 25, and the majority were male. But more surprisingly, the study found that for every percentage increase of males in a venue, high levels of intoxication went up by 5 percent.

The study also also showed that high levels of intoxication were associated with venues being overcrowded and open past midnight. Contrary to popular belief, nightclubs had significantly lower levels of noticeably intoxicated drinkers, compared to pubs.

The big question still remains: Why does the presence of men increase intoxication levels so much? Researchers don’t have a full explanation, although some have speculated that men who binge-drink flock together and that establishments with hard-partying reputations may be more attractive to men.

The study is now being used as evidence to call for last-drinks laws, which some hope would decrease the number of highly intoxicated patrons and violent incidents associated with heavy drinking.

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