Nov 24: An Analysis of the responses of about 30,000 young adults between the age of 18-34 and published in BMZ open journal suggest that one should drink wine or beer for relaxing, while liquor makes one aggressive though also confident and sexy, perhaps partly explaining the growing aggression in India and the increasing population of liquor drinking majority
Around 59 per cent of the respondents associated spirits, like whisky, vodka, rum, gin and other hard liquor with feelings of energy and confidence while more than 40% associate them with feeling sexy (increased drive for sex), according to the study published in the BMJ Open journal and reported by IANS through India New England website. However, only 20% felt them likely to be associated with the feeling of relaxation.
Red wine is the most likely alcobev to invoke the feeling of relaxation (53%) followed by beer (around 50 %). Nearly a third of hard liquor drinkers in the Study associated it with feelings of aggression compared with around 2.5 per cent of red wine drinkers.
“Understanding emotions associated with alcohol consumption is imperative to addressing alcohol misuse, providing insight into what emotions influence drink choice between different groups in the population,” the researchers said. Drinking spirits was also more likely to draw out negative feelings than all the other types of alcohol.
The responses differed by gender and category of alcohol dependency. Men were found to be significantly more associated with feelings of aggression with all types of alcohol. Same was the case with those in the category of heavy drinkers or who were dependent on alcohol. They were found to be six times more likely to do so than low risk drinkers! Heavy drinkers were also more likely to select any drink that was associated for them with feelings of aggression at home or when out.
However, these findings also suggest that dependent drinkers may rely on alcohol to generate the positive emotions they associate with drinking. They were five times more likely to feel energised than low risk drinkers, the researchers said.
“For centuries, the history of rum, gin, vodka and other hard liquor has been laced with violence. This global study suggests even today consuming spirits is more likely to result in feelings of aggression than other drinks,” said study co-author Professor Mark Bellis of Public Health Wales’ Director of Policy, Research and International Development.
For the study, the researchers drew on anonymous responses to the world’s largest online survey of legal and illicit drug and alcohol use among adults – the Global Drug Survey or GDS which covers 11 languages, includes specific questions on alcohol consumption and the feelings associated with drinking beer, spirits and red or white wine when at home or outside.
The survey brings out why the British, especially many women look forward to a glass of red wine in the evening or before going to bed just like the men returning from offices. Although a glass of beer or whiskey could also be welcome for relaxation. But in India when unstoppable at just one drink, could explain the aggressiveness in big cities where increasing amount of hard liquor is consumed. Even in smaller towns, hard liquor is the cause of domestic violence; this study explains the phenomenon to some extent.
The Study also could be a pointer for the Indian government to promote wine and beer and discourage the consumption of hard liquor through awareness.
The behavioural scientists may do well to conduct such meaningful study in India; it may well highlight that the aggressive attitude in today’s India is due to the prevalent whiskey and hard drinks culture. You may like to relax and ponder over a glass of red wine about the changing culture with aggression being the order of the day.
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