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Are Men Reluctant to Assault Women Even When Intoxicated?

NCJ Number
Justice Quarterly Volume: Online Dated: 2023
Date Published

This study tests the hypothesis that the effects of alcohol reduces men’s inhibitions against assaulting women during disputes.


Based on the assumptions that violence against women is more anti-normative than violence against men, and that alcohol intoxication leads to anti-normative behavior, the authors suggest that the effects of alcohol on violence against women should be stronger. The authors found support for this hypothesis in an analysis of more than 1,100 interpersonal disputes reported by male prison inmates and male community members. The study finds that the tendency for men to be more willing to threaten and attack male adversaries than female adversaries is weaker when men are intoxicated. When respondents were moderately or extremely intoxicated, they are just as likely to target women. Apparently, only sober and slightly intoxicated men are inhibited about attacking women during disputes. The authors suggest that the effects of the chivalry norm decrease as men become intoxicated. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2023