регистрация / вход

Binge Drinking Final Essay Research Paper Drinking

Binge Drinking (Final) Essay, Research Paper Drinking has become an increasing problem in our society. Many people now see drinking as a norm. Lisa McIntyre, author of The Practical Skeptic states that, “For one thing, we know that norms vary across societies” (152). So we also know that what is considered to be deviant varies across societies.” How could members of our society see drinking as anything but a norm when everywhere one turns alcohol is being advertised? Whether it be on billboards, busses, in magazine ads, or television commercials, alcohol is everywhere and it seems as though everyone is drinking it.

Binge Drinking (Final) Essay, Research Paper

Drinking has become an increasing problem in our society. Many people now see drinking as a norm. Lisa McIntyre, author of The Practical Skeptic states that, “For one thing, we know that norms vary across societies” (152). So we also know that what is considered to be deviant varies across societies.” How could members of our society see drinking as anything but a norm when everywhere one turns alcohol is being advertised? Whether it be on billboards, busses, in magazine ads, or television commercials, alcohol is everywhere and it seems as though everyone is drinking it. Gone are the times of prohibition, when alcohol was seen as evil.

After doing quantitative research on drinking, including a literature review and studying survey data, we came to the conclusion that drinking is a serious problem in the United States. While both of us prefer not to drink, many of our peers do not share our same attitude. In fact, it appears as if drinking is now a measure of social acceptance among teenagers and college students. Looking at the subject of drinking from a conflict theorist point-of-view helped us to understand the issue. We discovered that every social class drinks, regardless of age, income, race, or sex.

We wanted to see the effects of drinking in our society and which groups of people were more likely to participate in such activities. However, when we began to search for variables of drinking, we were discouraged to find that none existed in our provided databases. “To call a concept a variable means, in the first place, that it is a thing of interest in a particular piece of research” (McIntyre 50). While we were interested in using a variable of drinking in our research, the lack of one made us assume that many members of society do not view alcohol as a serious problem, or are in denial of its effects. Because of this, we had to use a variable of drug use, that being whether marijuana should be made legal or not, assuming that those who answered yes to the question, were current marijuana smokers. Though we do not view marijuana use as a problem, it was the only other mind-altering substance that we felt could be even mildly compared to alcohol. We do not feel that marijuana has any of the same social effects as alcohol, and is not a true problem among our society, but once again, it was the only variable we could measure. Make note that in all theories and hypothesis we tested, we actually were stating our views as though alcohol was the variable, not marijuana.

We started our research by testing our theory that people who smoke marijuana were more likely to have unprotected sex, because marijuana alters the mind’s ability to think clearly. Often times, people who are “high” do not think about the risks of having unprotected sex, or even using a condom for that matter. We then developed the hypothesis that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to not use condoms during sexual intercourse. To tests these ideas, we operationalized the dependent variable of condom, which asks the question, “The last time you had sex was a condom used? This includes vaginal, oral, or anal sex.” We then used the independent variable of grass, which asks the question, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal or not?” Here are the results:

Table I: Whether a Person Feels That Marijuana Should be Made Legal or Not and Condom Usage

The data showed that people who do not feel marijuana should be made legal are more likely to not use condoms during sex, therefore, rejecting our hypothesis and proving the exact opposite. This could be due to the fact that married people or couples in serious relationships often do not use condoms as a main form of birth control. However, the correlation was very weak, even though the probability was low.

To see if our prediction about why that certain group of people were the most likely to not use condoms, we controlled for marital status. The results were basically the same except that, as we predicted, married people were more likely to not use condoms and do not feel that marijuana should be legalized. However, people who were never married were more likely to smoke weed and not use condoms. Once again, the correlations were very weak and had little or no statistical significance.

The second theory we tested was that marijuana inhibits the mind’s ability to think clearly and sometimes causes users to take actions they would not usually take under normal circumstances. Smokers often lose their inhibitions while “high,” which could lead them to have sex with people they barely know. We then hypothesized that people who smoke marijuana are more likely to have a higher number of sex partners. In order to test our ideas, we operationalized the dependent variable of sex partners, which asks the question “How many sex partners have you had in the last twelve months?”. Respondents could answer none, one, or two or more. Again, we used the question of whether or not a person thinks marijuana should be made legal or not as our independent variable. Here is what we found:

Table II: Whether a Person Feels That Marijuana Should be Made Legal or Not and Number of Sex Partners

The results showed that people who smoked marijuana did, on average, have more sexual partners than non-smokers. While non-smokers did have higher percentages of one sex partner (68.1% to 59.6% for smokers), our main concern was with people who had two or more sex partners. Smokers were definitely more likely to have two or more sex partners (26.4% to 10.9% for non-smokers). Though the correlation was only moderate, the probability was an extremely low 0.000, thus making the correlation and results highly statistically significant.

We wanted to see if male or female marijuana smokers were more likely to have a higher number of sex partners so we controlled for gender in the table. The results were basically the same, except that males and females who smoked marijuana had even higher percentages of two or more sex partners (32.2% for males and 20.1% for females) than in the initial data. Once again, the data was highly statistically significant and moderately correlated.

We then theorized that females tend to have more close friendships than men. This is due to the fact that women are often more open with one another and love to talk. Males may experiment with drugs in order to fill the time frame they would be spending with friends, while women fill their time with their friends talking or shopping. Created from this theory, was our hypothesis that males are more likely to smoke marijuana than females. In order to test these ideas, we had to use the measure of marijuana as our dependent variable operationalized, and the independent variable of gender, or rather respondent’s sex. These are the results:

Table III. Gender and Whether a Person Thinks That Marijuana Should be Made Legal or Not

The data showed that men were more likely than women (31.4% to 23.3%) to favor the legalization of marijuana, thus leading us to infer that they are more likely to smoke marijuana. Also, men were less likely than women to feel that marijuana should not be made legal. Although the results were extremely statistically significant, the correlation was very weak.

When we controlled for level of employment, the results were pretty much the same. No matter if they were working or unemployed, females were much less likely to favor the legalization of marijuana. Once again, the results were highly significant, yet weakly correlated.

The next theory we tested was that people who work experience more social integration than those who are unemployed. Because marijuana alters the mind’s thinking process, people who work are less likely to use the drug because they do not want their performance to be effected. From our theory, we developed a hypothesis that people who are employed are less likely to smoke marijuana. In order to test these ideas we used the measure of marijuana as our dependent variable, and operationalized the independent variable of working, which asks the question, “Was respondent working or unemployed the previous week?”. Here are the results:

Table IV: A Person’s Level of Employment and Whether Marijuana Should be Made Legal or Not

The data supported our theory. Those who were unemployed at the time of the survey were far more likely to favor the legalization of marijuana (46.9% to 29.0%) than people who worked. While the correlation was weak, the results were very statistically significant.

Curious about whether a person’s age effected the results, we decided to control for age. The results remained the same. In each age category those who were unemployed were far more likely to favor smoking marijuana than people who worked. However, the control data was weakly correlated and not of statistical significance.

Yet another theory we tested was that people with higher incomes often experience more social stratification. They often feel that they must live up to high role expectations and statuses and therefore see drugs as a deviant measure, one that is clearly unacceptable and would make others look down upon them. We then hypothesized that people with lower family incomes are more likely to smoke marijuana. Once again, we used the measure of marijuana as the dependent variable while using family income which asks the question, “In which of these groups did your total family income, from all sources, fall last year, before taxes that is?”. Respondents could choose three different categories which were: $1,000-$19,999, $20,000-$39,999, or $40,000 and up. These are the results:

Table V: Family Income and Whether a Person Believes Marijuana Should be Made Legal or Not

While the results did show that as income increased the acceptance of marijuana being legalized decreased and as income increased the rate of those against the legalization of marijuana increased, the results were not statistically significant. In fact, the correlation was extremely weak and the probability was not in our favor, meaning our hypothesis was rejected. Perhaps these results were due to the fact that as we initially stated, deviant behavior, such as drug use and alcoholism, are a way for people to gain social acceptance.

When we controlled for gender the results were a little different. Lower income females still favored the legalization of marijuana over women in other income brackets, but females in the high-income bracket favored legalization more than those in the middle income bracket. Surprisingly, males in the middle income bracket were more in favor of the legalization of marijuana than any other income bracket. They were also the least likely to oppose legalization.

When we began using the States database, we were finally able to use a measure of alcohol. Due to this new measure, we were able to theorize that people who attend church experience higher levels of social integration, and because of this integration and friendships, these people do not feel as lonely and are not as tempted to drink. Many church members are highly religious and feel as though it is a sin to drink. We then hypothesized that states with higher levels of church members would have lower levels of alcohol consumption. To test these ideas we used a measure of alcohol, gallons of alcoholic beverages consumed per person sixteen and over, as our dependent variable. We used church members, percent of population belonging to a local church, as our independent variable operationalized. Here is what we found:

Scatterplot I: States’ Church Members and Gallons of Alcohol Consumed Per Person

The results of the scatterplot supported our theory. States with higher percents of church members did have lower rates of alcohol consumption. The correlation was a strong negative, proving our hypothesis correct. The probability was an extremely low 0.000 making the correlation highly statistically significant.

The next theory we tested with this new measure of alcohol was that divorced people lose many of their social ties, such as in-laws, spouse, relatives, and even children after a divorce. Often they are lonely and may turn to alcohol to kill the time or even as an attempt of meeting new people. We hypothesized that states with higher percents of divorced people would have higher levels of alcohol consumption. In order to test these ideas we once again used the measure of alcohol as the dependent variable and used percent divorced, the percent of those fifteen and over who currently are divorced as the independent variable operationalized. These are the results:

Scatterplot II: States’ Percent Divorced and Gallons of Alcohol Consumed Per Person

The results of the scatterplot supported our theory. States with higher percents of divorced people had higher rates of alcohol consumption. The correlation was strongly positive, while the probability was extremely low, in our favor. Also, the results were highly statistically significant.

Finally, we looked at a measure of social stratification and formed a theory based on it. We theorized that poor people often do not have as many social ties as wealthier people. They often lack the money to join clubs, attend parties, and buy nice clothing. Sometimes they experience less status expectations and role strain and therefore may see drinking as a completely normal way to spend their time. We then hypothesized that states with higher percents of poor families will have higher levels of alcohol consumption. Again the measure of drinking was the dependent variable. The independent variable was the percent of poor families, or rather the percent of families below poverty level, in each state. Here are the results:

Scatterplot III: States’ Percent of Poor Families and Gallons of Alcohol Consumed Per Person

The scatterplot supports the exact opposite of our theory and hypothesis. The correlation was a weak negative, while the probability was extremely low, but not in our favor. The results were statistically significant, leading us to believe that perhaps poor families are too poor to even purchase alcohol, and perhaps have found cheaper ways to spend their time.

After completing our research, we discovered that alcohol is a major problem in the United States. Many people can not admit the severity of the problem, including students, parents, and society as a whole. We came to this conclusion due to the fact that alcohol was not used as a variable or measure in hardly any databases or surveys. We wish that we could have tested all of our theories using alcohol instead of marijuana because we believe they would have resulted in higher correlations. Also, we would have liked to have been able to control all of the correlations for high school and college age students, because we feel that these particular groups of people are most harmed by the effects of alcohol consumption. While we did discover that males are more likely to do drugs than females, marijuana smokers tend to have more sex partners, unemployed people smoke marijuana more than employed people, and poor people are more acceptable of the legalization of marijuana, we still feel that these ideas would have been more significant if alcohol was a variable.

Another problem we had with the study was that we questioned who the respondents were in the surveys. We realize that older Americans are greatly against the legalization of marijuana and may not have answered questions regarding its legalization as would teenagers or people in their twenties. Older Americans often do not see alcohol as such a problem because they are over the legal drinking age and do not binge drink as often.

We still believe our initial theory, that people drink in order to gain social acceptance, to be true. If there was any possible way to test this theory we would love to do so. However, as our available databases do not allow, we will just assume that this would be the result of extensive studies.

Works Cited

“Binge Drinking in College: A Definitive Study.” Harvard School of Public Health. Aug. 1995. 23 Nov. 2000. *http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/Organizations/cas/test/rpt1994/CAS1994rpt.shtml*.

1996 General Social Survey. (2,904 cases, 169 variables)

McIntyre, Lisa. The Practical Skeptic. Mountain View, CA. Mayfield, 1999.

The 50 States of the United States. (50 cases, 117 variables)

“Binge Drinking in College: A Definitive Study.” Harvard School of Public Health. Aug. 1995. 23 Nov. 2000. .

1996 General Social Survey. (2,904 cases, 169 variables)

McIntyre, Lisa. The Practical Skeptic. Mountain View, CA. Mayfield, 1999.

The 50 States of the United States. (50 cases, 117 variables)

ОТКРЫТЬ САМ ДОКУМЕНТ В НОВОМ ОКНЕ

ДОБАВИТЬ КОММЕНТАРИЙ  [можно без регистрации]

Ваше имя:

Комментарий