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Is It a Fight or Are They Just Drunk?: Attributions About Drunken Behaviour in a Hypothetical Male-to-Male Aggression Scenario

NCJ Number
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Dated: 2006 Pages: 61-77
Kalle Tryggvesson; Sandra L. Bullock
Date Published
17 pages
This paper examines the excuse-value of alcohol in a hypothetically provoked male-to-male violence scenario.
Findings, supporting earlier studies, indicate that if alcohol dilutes blame, it is for more severe acts. In addition, victim’s intoxication influences the attributed blame among male respondents, in that it is more acceptable to hit someone who is drunk. The results provide limited support for the hypothesis that alcohol is an acceptable excuse for some behavior under certain circumstance and that it is possible to justify violence towards drunken persons. This study examined whether intoxication by the perpetrator worked as an excuse in a hypothetical provoked male-to-male aggression scenario. The excuse concept was measured in two ways: the attributed blame and the likelihood that the incident would be reported to the police. The study hypothesized that it was more likely that an aggressor would be excused if they had a close relationship with the respondent than if they did not. A total of 1,004 young adults, split between males and females, between the ages of 16 and 25 from across Sweden participated in this computer-aided telephone interview study. The results lend partial support to the theory that alcohol consumption excuses violent behavior. References


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