Friday, April 26, 2013

Alcohols Depiction In Movies

Peer pressure being common among young people and their friends, but how do movies influence a young persons use of alcohol?

Studies show that not only are characters that use drugs and alcohol portrayed as being attractive but also as romantic, aggressive, and hold a higher status in society than their non-drinking counterparts. Movies and television show alike glamorize the use of alcohol. That influence is subconsciously making young people increase their use of these substances. In a study done by The Medical Council on Alcohol and ESBRA, young people who viewed a movie where alcohol was present led to a higher overall alcohol consumption rate than those which depicted no alcohol use, “Results were straightforward and substantial: those in the condition with alcohol portrayal in movie and commercials drank on average 1.5 glasses more than those in the condition with no alcohol portrayal, within a period of 1 hour” (OxfordJournals). These studies found a direct link between the mass media and drinking levels of young people.


Other research studied different characteristics and compared and contrasted how drinkers and non-drinkers analyzed those characteristics. As you can see overall drinkers believed characters who used alcohol were more aggressive, attractive, friendlier, had higher economic status and had more romantic activity. All characteristics that young people wish to exude. This study also found that drinkers in movies are more attractive, which is obviously not a accurate interpretation of realty (Journal of Appplied Social Psychology).

The point of these studies was to show that the movies that many young people who watch anything from James Bond movies to 101 Dalmatians are shown alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. The saturation, and in many cases positive depiction, in movies may show young people that it is okay to drink.

Peer pressure is a common issue among young people, but it can be combated. Please read our article discussing ways in which to avoid peer pressure.

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-Maxwell Law

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