If you've ever been to a club--like, ever, even once--you are not going to be shocked to hear that women get a lot of unwanted, aggressive attention. But when you read the findings of this study on how often and why it happens, it might make you feel downright sick to your stomach.
A new study sent 148 trained observers to visit more than 100 bars and clubs a total of 1,334 times. On the visits, they observed 1,057 incidents of aggression, 25 percent of which were sexual in natural. Of the sexually aggressive incidents, 90 percent of cases involved a male aggressor and a female target. (And the remaining 10 percent involved a combination of men harassing men, women harassing men, and women harassing women.)
The researchers decided to observe whether the men were intentionally harassing women or whether they were mistakenly misinterpreting signals. In 34 percent of the cases, they found it was “beyond clear” that the women didn’t want the attention. (An example given? A man who groped a woman’s butt, laughed with his friends after she pushed him away, then grabbed her breasts and laughed when she again pushed him away. Gee, that’s just hilarious, dude. I might just laugh all the way to police department, where I can file charges against you.) In the other two thirds of cases, the observers almost always agreed that the men probably knew the woman did not welcome his advances, although they “could not definitively infer aggressive intent.”
And while you may think the men were on their worst behavior thanks to the influence of alcohol, that wasn’t true. Researchers found no relationship between level of intoxication and acts of aggression. They did, however, find that men targeted women who were intoxicated.