Changing Gender Norms for Alcohol Consumption: Social Drinking and Lowered Inhibitions at Bachelorette Parties

Changing Gender Norms for Alcohol Consumption: Social Drinking and Lowered Inhibitions at... In this research, we examined the role of alcohol as both substance and symbol at bachelorette parties. The bachelorette party is characterized by ritualized embarrassment of the bride and by sexualized games, both of which are made easier by heavy alcohol consumption. As there are few occasions when it is considered socially acceptable for women to drink, the bachelorette party provides a unique opportunity to explore women’s social drinking and public drunkenness. Based on interviews with 51 women we found that drinking seemed to add to the fun of bachelorette parties and that group alcohol consumption appeared to increase social solidarity as women at bachelorette parties bonded over their shared experience. Finally, women relied on alcohol to lower inhibitions so that they were able to feel justified in engaging in deviant behavior. Women’s use of alcohol in this ritual challenges existing gender norms and conceptions of masculinity and femininity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Changing Gender Norms for Alcohol Consumption: Social Drinking and Lowered Inhibitions at Bachelorette Parties

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by Springer Science + Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-005-2672-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this research, we examined the role of alcohol as both substance and symbol at bachelorette parties. The bachelorette party is characterized by ritualized embarrassment of the bride and by sexualized games, both of which are made easier by heavy alcohol consumption. As there are few occasions when it is considered socially acceptable for women to drink, the bachelorette party provides a unique opportunity to explore women’s social drinking and public drunkenness. Based on interviews with 51 women we found that drinking seemed to add to the fun of bachelorette parties and that group alcohol consumption appeared to increase social solidarity as women at bachelorette parties bonded over their shared experience. Finally, women relied on alcohol to lower inhibitions so that they were able to feel justified in engaging in deviant behavior. Women’s use of alcohol in this ritual challenges existing gender norms and conceptions of masculinity and femininity.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 1, 2005

References

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