Religious ‘more aggressive’ when drunk15th August, 2014 by Lauren Eads
Those who hold strong religious beliefs are more likely to be aggressive when drunk, according to a recent study.
A US study carried out in Kentucky on 520 individuals aged between 21 and 35 years found that those who held strong spiritual and religious views were more likely to become aggressive and violent after drinking, compared to people without such beliefs, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Each participant was given either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink, with psychologists having already assessed the degree of their spiritual beliefs.
Professor Peter Giancola, of the University of Kentucky College of Arts and Sciences, who led the study, claiming that in many cases, the stronger the person’s views, the more hostile and aggressive they became when drinking.
He said: “Oversimplifying – in many cases the more religious someone is, the more aggressive they will become after drinking alcohol.”
For the purposes of the study, a spiritual person was defined as someone who “finds meaning in the sacred”, regardless of which religion they follow.
The study was originally intended to identify risk factors to predict alcohol-related violence, with the correlation drawn between religion and aggression said to be a “surprise”.
He said the study suggested that alcohol “releases the beast within” in those with strongly held religious beliefs.
Giancola could not explain why this was the case and said further work was required to better understand the relationship between religion and alcohol.