Back in the day when I did my psychology education it soon became apparent that the young parent contingent would happily shout down any research that would point to any probable detrimental effect that parents could have on their offspring but who would alternatively shout from the rafters when other research appeared to show the gloriously positive effects parenting can affect.
So too with the possible link between parental drinking and binge drinking in the young.
The middle class parents for whom a couple of glasses of wine to ‘de-stress’ of an evening naturally dismiss such findings whilst scape-goating the under-classes instead and telling those pointing the nanny-state finger to linger a while and instead point accusingly at the supposedly ‘feckless’ to see the real effects of poor parental role models. Another great ‘no thugs in our house‘ moment.
Still all classes now have a more convenient role model to blame.
Photo by davidjwbailey under this creative commons license
I was only listening to a phone-in on ABC Canberra radio the other day which was debating the culture of drinking amongst the young in Australia.Whilst Australia is by no means embroiled in the kind of excessive alcohol consumption of the United Kingdom (see league table for alcohol consumption by country but the rise in the level of young people taking part in acts of binge drinking is perceived to have increased.
Obviously Australia is a somewhat more macho culture where hard drinking can be seen as part of the supposed attraction of machismo. Witness the bare essential approach of many Australian pubs and bars and the bizarre availability of drive through ‘bottle shops’ (off licenses as we call them in the UK) to see the place drinking alcohol has in the culture.
Interestingly binge drinking has not been at the levels ‘enjoyed’ by the UK of late. Australian politicians are getting concerned in a way that British politicians do not seem to (our brilliant solution to binge drinking was to increase the hours that pubs and clubs open in the hope that our youth culture would suddenly go all European and be less likely to consume the greatest amount of alcohol in the shortest available time frame).
Sculling, by the way is an Australian term for knocking back alcohol. Cultural differences and all that.