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Underage Drinking

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Underage Drinking

Postby Coppermine » Thu Jun 14, 2007 8:57 pm

What do you guys think of this:

Stanton Peele wrote:The U.S. is the only country in the world that does not permit people under 21 to drink legally in public. The idea is not whether you increase underage drinking, but how such drinking takes place (is it moderate and regulated), and what kind of drinking this leads to in adulthood. Drinking by children is bad when it is damaging, inappropriate, unregulated. Alcohol in itself is a benign substance that has been consumed by most of the world's cultures throughout history. In other words, our cultural drinking problems are represented in our fears about alcohol and our apprehension that children will be tempted by this forbidden fruit, while our portrayal of alcohol in this light leads to worse attitudes, behavior, and experiences with alcohol.

Remarkably, in the years in the U.S. when the promotion of alcohol's danger grew the most (throughout the 1970s and the early 1980s), the number of people reporting symptoms of alcohol dependence doubled. In the group with the most alcohol dependence symptoms — 23-29 year-old men — 14% reported such symptoms in 1967 and 31% in 1984!

I always turn to the example of Jewish people, who on the Sabbath chant a prayer to wine with their children while all sip from the wine cup together. On Passover alcohol is sipped periodically throughout the meal by all those at the table (except to the extent that Americanized Jews have begun to fear alcohol as much as other Americans). In a 1980 article in the American Sociological Review and a 1984 article in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol, two sociologists at the University of Syracuse, Barry Glassner and Bruce Berg, investigated Jewish drinking in a large upstate New York City because they believed that traditionally low Jewish alcoholism rates had increased over the years. Of the Jewish people the sociologists actually interviewed, none had ever had a drinking problem. Investigating all reports by activists in the Jewish community who had announced a growing alcoholism problem, Glassner and Berg could not actually locate one Jewish alcoholic. Accepting at face values all such reports led to calculation of an alcoholism rate of about one-tenth of one percent among Jewish adults.

What is the problem with youthful drinking? It is children drinking in the woods, driving while drinking, developing unrealistic and escapist fantasies around alcohol, and the persistence of these problems into young adulthood and beyond. Sipping wine with parents at dinner or at religious ceremonies is the antithesis of a drinking problem. All policies that lead children to be exposed to alcohol in such moderate-drinking settings reduces the likelihood they will enter the group of almost a third of young men (and 18 percent of young women) who develop alcohol dependence symptoms in their twenties. And, yet, we push for policies that lead to exactly the wrong kind of drinking.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby teddy ballgame » Thu Jun 14, 2007 9:10 pm

Interesting read. Can't say I disagree. I don't have numbers or anything but I don't think Europe has any more problems with alcohol than we do, and a lot of countries there don't have drinking ages.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby sportsaddict » Thu Jun 14, 2007 10:14 pm

He's right on with what he says. There's this "taboo" type feeling surrounding alcohol, so it just adds to adults and teenagers wanting to abuse it more. It's almost the same thing as sex education... doesn't it seem like the kids that are told sex is a sin end up being the ones who don't practice safe sex methods? It's the same thing, the people that are educated about alcohol will make the right choices later, but people that were taught that alcohol is always horrible, they tend to abuse it.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby mrider » Fri Jun 15, 2007 1:19 am

sportsaddict wrote:He's right on with what he says. There's this "taboo" type feeling surrounding alcohol, so it just adds to adults and teenagers wanting to abuse it more. It's almost the same thing as sex education... doesn't it seem like the kids that are told sex is a sin end up being the ones who don't practice safe sex methods? It's the same thing, the people that are educated about alcohol will make the right choices later, but people that were taught that alcohol is always horrible, they tend to abuse it.


I disagree people drink alchol because they like owuld happens when they are drunk. They don't drunk because there parents don't like it it.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby ThatDude » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:18 am

mrider wrote:
sportsaddict wrote:He's right on with what he says. There's this "taboo" type feeling surrounding alcohol, so it just adds to adults and teenagers wanting to abuse it more. It's almost the same thing as sex education... doesn't it seem like the kids that are told sex is a sin end up being the ones who don't practice safe sex methods? It's the same thing, the people that are educated about alcohol will make the right choices later, but people that were taught that alcohol is always horrible, they tend to abuse it.


I disagree people drink alchol because they like owuld happens when they are drunk. They don't drunk because there parents don't like it it.



That's a pretty narrow view.

When kids have been told something is bad or dangerous for the bulk of their lives, and they get into that rebellious stage of adolescence, alcohol/drugs are a perfect thing to turn to. It's easy to get, and they know their parents don't like it. That's what teenage rebellion is all about, doing stuff your parents don't like.

Then they see it's not nearly as bad as they've been told. Rather, it can be quite enjoyable. So the behavior continues until it becomes an addiction. When it reaches that point, it no longer has anything to do with liking what happens.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby Snakes Gould » Fri Jun 15, 2007 4:22 am

mrider wrote:
sportsaddict wrote:He's right on with what he says. There's this "taboo" type feeling surrounding alcohol, so it just adds to adults and teenagers wanting to abuse it more. It's almost the same thing as sex education... doesn't it seem like the kids that are told sex is a sin end up being the ones who don't practice safe sex methods? It's the same thing, the people that are educated about alcohol will make the right choices later, but people that were taught that alcohol is always horrible, they tend to abuse it.


I disagree people drink alchol because they like owuld happens when they are drunk. They don't drunk because there parents don't like it it.

trust this guy. he knows from first hand experience ;D
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby Mugrila » Fri Jun 15, 2007 7:48 am

My views are, and have been for quite a while now, very similar to the article. I think it's such a big deal because we make it a big deal. If a person grows up drinking responsibly in the home, I feel they would be less inclined to view alcohol some substance they can't have- so they need.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby knapplc » Fri Jun 15, 2007 8:43 am

Gotta say I agree with everyone here but mrider (sorry, dude). The taboo aspect of alcohol in American culture breeds this kind of abuse as much as any other factor.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby Coppermine » Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:18 am

In my own personal experience, I will say that I grew up in an Irish/Italian New York family. I may have been 14 or 15 when my parents first let me have a glass of wine with dinner (for special occasions only). If I had grown up today, they may never have done that simply because of the way it may have been viewed, but in my family I learned that alcohol was something to be respected and enjoyed responsibly. My entire family drank a lot, yet I never saw an adult family member visibly "drunk."

When I went to college, that respect carried over. And although I enjoyed getting "drunk" from time to time, I never drove, I never acted out on it and I never got significantly sick from at... as my peers seemed to do on nearly a daily basis. I never judged anyone, because I knew many of them were never allowed near alcohol and then when college comes with an endless supply it's like a free-for-all.

Somewhere along the lines, alcohol became disproportionate to perceived morality, particularly parents that allowed it. "Oh, you're breaking the law, don't let your kids near alcohol." Everyone knew someone who had hip, cool parents who let you drink, usually under their supervision and strict rules not to drive or get out of control. These parents would have been viewed as immoral, horrible people who are also breaking the law.

I think you'd find that alcoholism in most Western European nations that have this open attitude toward alcohol consumption is far less prevalent than it is here. Most of these countries the legal, public drinking age is 16 or lower, typically part of a societal rule that this is typically done with family members such as wine or beer with dinner.
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Re: Underage Drinking

Postby mrider » Fri Jun 15, 2007 11:36 am

Snakes Gould wrote:
mrider wrote:
sportsaddict wrote:He's right on with what he says. There's this "taboo" type feeling surrounding alcohol, so it just adds to adults and teenagers wanting to abuse it more. It's almost the same thing as sex education... doesn't it seem like the kids that are told sex is a sin end up being the ones who don't practice safe sex methods? It's the same thing, the people that are educated about alcohol will make the right choices later, but people that were taught that alcohol is always horrible, they tend to abuse it.


I disagree people drink alchol because they like owuld happens when they are drunk. They don't drunk because there parents don't like it it.

trust this guy. he knows from first hand experience ;D


Well if that is taking a stab at me because of my age that is weak. But I don't drink often, and its not because my parents permitted to. I think teenagers drink because of peer pressure and if you don't do it, it is almost frowned upon. Which is really stupid.
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