Wednesday 4 March 2009


‘’TV boozing may drive you to drink’’ reads the Chronical Herald article headline. It goes on explaining how watching movies that depict drinking makes young men crave for alcoholic beverages.
80 university students observed, drank different quantities of alcohol depending on whether what their group watched depicted more or less drinking and found that the group that watched movies that portrayed more drinking, drank more than those that portrayed less.

We will let our regular readers decide if this is what one would call science in the traditional definition of the word.

We will also let our regular readers decide if a cohort of 80 is a big enough sample to draw any reliable ‘’causal’’ conclusions from an observational study, especially that this study’s findings are unique according to the authors.

Nevertheless, we do believe that what we’re presented with on the big and small screen can and does in fact influence some people’s behavior to a certain extent. We also believe that this is true for everything that we observe in society whether on screen or in real life. There is no way possible that we can shield ourselves from every risky or unhealthy behavior unless we live in a state governed and policed by puritans where everything but what the state deems appropriate would be forbidden. Pushed to its extremes such a state would only help inevitably develop a strong underground society that would better serve the needs and instincts of the citizens because such is human nature and anyone that has tried to tamper with it in the past has failed miserably. This is also why humans, contrary to animals, were gifted with an important weapon that serves their instinct of survival -- it is called intelligence. It is this weapon that allows them to reason and protect themselves and their offspring from a myriad of potential dangers and harms. We concede that not everyone’s weapon is equal in strength and some need a little help from other members of society. Help should be offered in the form of compassion and education towards those who need it most, not prohibitions for each and every one of us one who will eventually have absolutely nothing worth to live for.

Engels, the principal investigator of the study, may believe in artistic freedom and thus not be favorable to bans, but he has nevertheless given a so called scientific weapon to neo-prohibitionist extremists who will only be too happy to use it to advance their agenda.

TV boozing may drive you to drink

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