While non-existent a few decades ago, toxic masculinity is a term that governs most current discussions. A group of Australian researchers recently discovered the cause of this sexist behavior and attitudes towards women. They found out that despite the new term, the causes remain the same: a combination of alcohol consumption and bigotry, which is encouraging a rise in domestic violence cases worldwide.
How drinking causes violence
The researchers observe that there is a long connection between drinking and gender-based violence. In addition, the new study, which was published in Addiction, suggests that the relationship between drinking and violence also affects a man’s attitude towards the opposite gender.
Studying men in low-income countries, the researchers reveal that heavy drinkers were likely to be violent towards their female partners. The team emphasizes that although violence against women is a global problem, the interaction between heavy drinking and Gender-Based Violence is primarily seen in lower and middle-income countries.
The researchers examined data from 9,000 men aged between 18 and 49 in 7 countries: Cambodia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Timor Leste, and Papua New Guinea. The men who reported having more than six drinks in a single session at least once a month were classified as regular heavy episodic drinkers.
The researchers used the Gender- Equitable Men (GEM) Scale to score gender attitudes. The scale measures attitudes towards gender norms related to sexual relations, sexual health, domestic work: violence and homophobia. Overall, 13% of the participants admitted to physically abusing their partners in the previous 12 months. In addition, the findings revealed that both binge drinking and low gender-equitable attitudes independently played a role in promoting Intimate Partner Violence (IPV).
Regular drinkers with low attitudes towards women
Men who were binge drinkers were also 3.42 times more likely to commit IPV than abstainers. Furthermore, every point decrease in gender equability attitude resulted in a 7% increase in the likelihood of committing IPV.
Researchers concluded that lower gender equability attitudes and binge drinking combined to form the ultimate ‘toxic masculinity’ recipe.